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My name is Jay. I am an independent singer-songwriter. That means I am independent of a record label (other than my own). Therefore, I write my own songs, sell my own records, book my own shows, drive my own tour bus ('04 Pontiac Vibe, 33 mpg), and lose my own money (it's really my wife's money). It also means that I write my own bio for my website. Hence, why this bio is not full of flamboyant jargon that I wrote about myself in the third person as though some high-level record executive wrote it. To read one of those, scroll to the bottom!

To see what others have written about my music, please click "Press". Otherwise, here's a little bit about myself (i.e., a bio):

*** I am vertically challenged (about 5'4"), but I am alright with it. It's not like I woke up this morning and discovered that I am short.

*** I am overeducated (B.S. and M.S. in Wildlife & Fisheries Science - University of Tennessee, PhD in Wildlife Ecology - Oklahoma State University) and do not answer to anyone that calls me Dr. Clark. Dr. Jay would have been more suitable for me but some basketball player for the 76ers claimed that name back in the late 1970s.

*** I wrote my first song when I was 17. I taught myself to play guitar, so I could sing the song at church.

*** I am happily married to a beautiful woman named Stacy. Unlike myself, she is neither vertically challenged (5'11") nor overeducated (PhD in Forestry). Despite my music business being quite lucrative (I was laughing as I typed that), she is the breadwinner of the family; thus, I am a kept man and have become quite content with it. If any of you guys out there have the chance to try it, I highly recommend it.

*** Music to me is about a connection. From a personal perspective, the connection is between an emotion and myself. From an artist's and performer's perspective, this connection is a combination of that same emotion, myself, and a listener. This connection is why I write, record, and play music... without this connection, it's just a song.

*** I've released 4 CDs - Jay Clark: Live at Hippie Jack's (2010), I'm Confused (2008), Progress (2006), and Pen to Paper (2004). Also, a DVD -Jay Clark: Live at Hippie Jack's (2010)

*** I was born in Bowling Green, KY (April 16, 1974), raised in Winchester, TN, and consider Knoxville and the surrounding mountains my adopted hometown.

*** Stacy and I moved back to the "promised land" (i.e., East Tennessee) in October 2009 and reside in Rockford, TN. We live in a small house on 31.5 acres with our 3 dogs, Betsy (see pic above), Indy, and Newp. Our cat Divix (in honor of WDVX) and our friend's dog, Annaly, are buried on our hillside that faces the East.

*** I love dogs and would like to stomp the hell out of anyone that would just drop a dog off to be a stray! Newp, our newest addition to the family, was an abandoned dog that I met at a gas station in Newport, TN, (hence the name Newp) while on the last leg of a short tour with Jimmy Davis. This store was our fourth stop in search of a 12-pack of PBR. Newp and I are both glad that I like to drink beer... it is amazing how luck and beer can sometimes bring us all together!

*** My Dad is a Cumberland Presbyterian minister and has been at the same church in Winchester, TN, for over 30 years; thus, he must be pretty damn good at it.

*** My Mom is an English teacher at Franklin County High School. She was my English teacher in 7th and 8th grade. She hates it when I cuss ... especially in combination with bad grammar. She is a great lady!

*** I believe we MUST take care of our habitat (i.e., environment). Whether we like it or not, we are all participants and cannot afford to just be a spectator. That said, we must make some changes in our lifestyle to be sustainable. Be a participant!

*** When I can get a grant, my other job is a part-time wildlife researcher for the University of Tennessee. However, funding has been rather hard to come by since about 2000 (see the next bullet for clues to a partial explanation of this difficulty).

*** I was sooooooo happy to see that chopper fly away from the White House on January 20, 2009... the End of an Error!

*** Politically, I am an independent but vote Democratic 99.3% of the time.

*** I believe in capitalism; however, as with alcohol, it is best enjoyed over the long term (e.g., a daily basis) in moderation. Thus, some regulation of the free-market system is required and healthy. This does not make me a socialist or friend of big government, but rather an open-minded American that does not see the idea of a "free market system" through black and white lenses. Middle ground is generally more steady.

*** I am a Christian.

*** I'd still like to stomp the hell out of anyone that would just drop a dog off to be a stray!

*** I like beer.

*** I believe in capitalism. Thus, why I have not shopped at Wal-Mart since 2002.

*** I love to be lost in the mountains whether it be Maine or Tennessee.

*** I like to float rivers, hunt, hike, backpack, and sit around fires with friends.

*** Life is good.


 
"Professional" Biography
(i.e., written in 3rd person)

BIOGRAPHY
Jay Clark has his roots well grounded in the East Tennessee region. Originally from Winchester, TN, and currently residing on 31.5 acres in Rockford, TN, Jay considers Knoxville and the surrounding mountains his adopted home.

Jay began playing guitar and writing songs during his high school years and has been actively involved in songwriting and performing ever since. After leaving Winchester to attend Maryville College in 1992, Jay spent the summers of 1993 and 1994 performing at Dollywood and various bluegrass festivals with Keith Garrett (The Boxcars, Blue Moon Rising) in a traditional bluegrass brother-style duet. In 1995, Jay transferred to the University of Tennessee and met Robinella (www.robinella.com). They started singing together at churches and gradually put together a traditional bluegrass band, The Stringbeans, with the help of Cruz Contreras (The Black Lillies, CC Stringband). The Stringbeans played around the Knoxville area from 1997 to 1999 and were voted the "Best Bluegrass Group" in 1999 by the Readers Poll of Knoxville's alternative weekly, the Metropulse.

After completing a Masters degree in Wildlife Science at the University of Tennessee in 1999, Jay moved to Stillwater, OK, to pursue a PhD in Wildlife Ecology at Oklahoma State University. While in Oklahoma, he continued songwriting and would occasionally return to Knoxville to perform with Robinella and the CC Stringband. In 2003, Jay moved back to Knoxville after completing his PhD and began performing his original songs at venues in the East Tennessee region. He has since released three albums (see Discography), contributed to Robinella's Solace for the Lonely (2006) as a songwriter and background vocalist, and toured the Southeast performing 70-80 shows per year.


DISCOGRAPHY: JAY CLARK: LIVE AT HIPPIE JACK'S (2010, Moon Eagle Music, 2-CD set & DVD); I'M CONFUSED (2008, Moon Eagle Music) - Produced by Jay Clark & Eric Nowinski. Features Richard Bailey (Steel Drivers), Cruz Contreras, Wade Hill, Tom Pryor (The Everybodyfields), Robinella, Sonny Smith, Jimmy Davis, and others; PROGRESS (2006, Moon Eagle Music) and PEN TO PAPER (2004, Moon Eagle Music) - Produced by Jay Clark & Cruz Contreras. Recorded with The CC Stringband featuring Robinella on background vocals.

SAMPLING OF VENUES PLAYED: Bluebird Cafe (Nashville), Eddie's Attic (Atlanta), Down Home (Johnson City, TN), WDVX's "Tennessee Shines" (Knoxville), Luckenbach Dance Hall (Luckenbach, TX), Smith's Olde Bar (Atlanta), Mercy Lounge (Nashville), Laurel Theatre (Knoxville), The Square Room (Knoxville), Jammin' at Hippie Jack's (Crawford, TN), Rhythm and Brews (Chattanooga), Workplay Theatre (Birmingham), The Basement (Nashville), Acoustic Sounds Cafe (Little Rock), The Shed (Maryville, TN), WDVX's "Blue Plate Special" (Knoxville). See www.jayclarkmusic.com for a complete listing.

OPENED FOR, SHARED STAGE or BILLED WITH: Billy Joe Shaver, John Hiatt, the John Cowan Band, Shawn Camp, Melonie Cannon, Malcolm Holcomb, Robinella, Sally Barris, Jack Williams, the Hacienda Brothers, Jeff Barbra and Sarah Pirkle, Doug and Telisha Williams, Jimmy Davis, Blue Moon Rising, Blue Mother Tupelo, Walt Wilkens, The Great Divide.

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This site created by A. Mains and maintained by Jay. Copyright © 2009