They say that there are still about 100 people moving every day to Nashville. What they don’t tell you is that 46 of them are musicians! While I may be making that up, there are a lot of great players and writers that keep coming here, and one of them I met recently was Jay Pounders.
Like myself, Jay was once a Jersey guy and in the 80s was signed to Geffen Records with his New York-based band Crossfire Choir. Labelled as “New Wave” and releasing three albums between 1986-1991, these guys had some real brushes with greatness back in the day. The band was once managed by CBGB’s owner Hilly Kristal at whose club they often played including once opening for The Replacements. They also worked with famed British producer Steve Lillywhite for some tracks for their first LP, and toured in support of many of the big bands of the era.
Jay has a love for great songwriters, and is a pretty darn good one himself. He’s somebody to keep an eye on, and it won’t be long before somebody in Music City picks up one of his songs. Still performing and having played a bunch of solo sets around town, Jay’s about to start a regular monthly gig at Belcourt Taps with a number 7 theme: the 7th of each month for 7 months at 7pm. Sounds like a cool thing to me. Stop by, hear some good tunes and buy Jay a beer and let him tell you some stories.
After taking Jay for some Jersey-style pizza at Joey’s, he got down to giving me answers to my usual 11 Questions. Thanks Jay and welcome to town!
Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?
I’m originally from Memphis. I moved to Nashville two years ago to be closer to my family and to try to revive my music career.
What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them Were they CD, vinyl or digital?
The first album I actually bought may have been Shaved Fish, a greatest hits album by John Lennon. My most recent purchase was Aimee Mann’s latest in digital format (the 2018 Grammy-winning Best Folk Album, Mental Illness).
First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?
First was the original Black Sabbath at the West Palm Beach Auditorium. Most recent was Gillian Welch at the Ryman.
Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?
Townes Van Zandt, if he isn’t already there. Charlie Rich, similarly. If they are, then Guy Clark.
Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?
Red Bicycle Coffee & Crepes / Five Points Pizza!
What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?
Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?
Awful, I mean Waffle House
The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.
Nick Johnson, Mac Elliott, and Steve Goodie
What are your favorite music venues to play in town?
Belcourt Taps where I’ll be starting my 7th @ 7 monthly residency starting with my birthday gig on March 7 at 7pm. Coincidentally, it’s also Townes Van Zandt’s birthday.
Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?
Lucinda Williams, because she is simply the best.
Finally, what’s in your musical future?
The future doesn’t exist, I live in the Now. To the extent the future does exist, I don’t waste time or energy worrying about or even doing much planning for it. I do hope that I get to play music each and every day, and it’s always nice when I’m able to share it with other people.