"...strong sense of melody, and a fine sense for balancing lyrical solo melodies and guitar flash. Jay could definitely fill a slot in a major-league rock band."
Mike Varney - Guitar World Magazine
Birthplace: Santa Barbara, CA
I spent most of my life since the age of three in the Chicago area, living in the western suburbs within an hour of the city. However, for the past year and a half I have been residing in Raleigh, North Carolina.
All-Time Favorite Albums:
Rainbow - Long Live Rock and Roll
- Rage For Order
- Back For The Attack
Sabbath - Heaven And Hell
Moore - Victims of the Future
All-Time Favorite Bands/Musical Acts:
Five All-Time Favorite Movies:
“The Big Sleep” (Actually, any Bogie will do)
Cowboy” (When it comes on TV, I can never turn it off)
of the Rings: The Two Towers” (It’s the best of the three)
Natural” (Always makes me misty-eyed)
is Spinal Tap" (But, of course!!!)
Best Ever Time On
Three times stand out above the rest:
Slip Mickey—Summerfest 2001 in Naperville, IL---40,000 people on a hot
summer night. Perfection.
IronHorse—Opening for .38 Special last summer in Columbus, OH—big
stage, perfect monitors, hometown crowd, and the band kicking ass. Pure
My very first gig—March/1984. Before we started, I had absolutely no
stage fright, just adrenaline. As soon as we hit the stage and started playing I
realized I had found my calling. I was home.
Favorite IronHorse Song:
This is tough. I should say “One Hell Of A Ride”, since that’s the one where I get to solo all day long, but I’ve got to go with “Haunted Saloon”. I really like the dynamics of it and the mood it creates. Honorable mention goes to “Three Sheets To The Wind”, which I feel neatly encompasses all things IronHorse in a neat four-minute package.
Mexican, Sushi, Italian, Chinese, I could go on and on…….if it doesn’t crawl off the plate before I can get to it, I’ll probably eat it!
At Gigs: Miller Genuine Draft & Shots of Jose Cuervo
At home: Any Australian wine, Laphroig
single malt scotch, and my father’s Christmas morning Bloody Marys
Baseball, golf, football, bowling, hitting the gym, chess, blackjack, poker, reading, gourmet cooking/eating, wines, movies, the beach, sarcasm, and sleep.
IronHorse - "BRING IT ON"
(2004 - Compendia/VTone Records)
No Bozos—“Access Denied” (1989)
SnakDaddy—“King For A Day” (1994)
Eric Rissolo Project—“Rock Star Scientist” (2004)
In addition, I’ve done more demos than I can count--both for myself
and for other people—as well as a few miscellaneous sessions. Most notably,
one demo tape ended up on the desk of Mike Varney who then featured me in his
“New Talent” column in GUITAR WORLD. I’m currently in the process of
transferring some of these to CD and I hope to have some available for IronHorse
fans to check out online soon.
I play early/mid 70’s Fender Stratocasters. However, they’re
heavily modified with hot-rodded
pickups (Dimarzio Paul Gilbert Tone Zones in the bridge, Seymour Duncan Hot
Stacks in the middle,
and either a Seymour Duncan Hot Rails or a Dimarzio Fast Track 3 in the neck position). They also have taller frets and Schaller/Floyd Rose floating bridges/vibrato bars, so they’re really not Strats in the classic sense. I can get most guitars to sound the same but I just can’t get them to feel the same. I really like the feel of the older and slimmer Strat necks; guitars manufactured today just have wider necks. I also have an Ibanez RG550 that I use for the songs we play in Drop-D tuning.
Amplification & Signal Processing:
I swear by my Rocktron Voodu Valve tube preamp and my Mesa Boogie 50/50 tube power amp. For overdriven guitar tones, there’s no substitute for tubes!! The only other piece of signal processing gear I currently use is an old BBE442 Sonic Maximizer (the first model they made). My rack tuner is a Korg DTR-1000 and I control the whole rack setup via an ART X-11 MidiController. For cabinets, I use Marshalls on Geno’s side of the stage. Usually Marshall cabs don’t sound that great but for some reason the ones I have are nice and punchy. On my side I use a “mutt” cabinet—no brand name to speak of but it sounds great—it’s loaded with Celestion speakers just like the Marshalls. And there’s my set-up: Simple, versatile, completely MIDI, and absolutely killer sounding.
Dean Markley Blue Steel - gauges .009 - .042
Picks: Dunlop Delrin 1.5 mm (pretty