27 Jan, 2016

Playing Guitar – The first 30 years

Today is my anniversary. After years of begging and pleading my folks finally gave in and bought me my first guitar (Jan. 27, 1986). Mom drove me out to my Aunt Joni and Uncle Barry’s house to take a Black Lotus Les Paul copy and a Peavey amplifier off of their hands for 150 bucks. It was maybe the first grown-up thing I ever owned. It may as well have been a Ferrari or a laser gun, it was just that cool to get it.

In guitar playing, it is famously said, you can forget about the first 20 years. There is so much too learn, it takes a ton of time, practice, patience, a real aspiration to learn and a lot of encouragement if you can find it. It takes 20 years just to get to a point where the real music will start to emerge. I’ve got to say that the longer I play, the more fun it gets. It still challenges me and there is no end to finding new music (or old music). But it’s pretty nice when you don’t have to think so hard about note names, scales, chords and everything and you begin to just let the music more or less flow. It’s a great joy.

The guitar has brought me almost everything in my life. Most of my very best friends come through music and it’s an honor to get on stage with great musicians who I can call friends too. I may not have met my wife without music and the guitar. I don’t think I would have had so many of the great experiences I’ve been lucky to have over the years had the guitar not been a part of it.

I’ve had a lot of great teachers and encouragement from family and friends. Being a musician is not always the easiest life all of the time. Musicians need a lot of support from home and loved ones to be able to do their thing. My students have been my teachers. I’ve learned so much from them, from the opportunity to share the music with them. I’m grateful for all these amazing people have given me.

The guitar has been my teacher. It’s taught me about beauty, pleasure and pain, persistence, patience and discipline. It’s taught be about history and style and about working well with others. It’s been a reliable friend, companion and therapist for 3 decades. You’d think I’d be better by now! Only my oldest friends and family have been with me longer than the guitar.

I’ve had some other instruments over the years but that first guitar started it all. I can remember my mom saying “we’d better hear a song or two out of that thing”. It’s good to remember that. I’d better get to practicing.

Music and the guitar are a big part of my life. That’s the way I’d always hoped it would be. That’s a blessing. I think everyone should play. Play just a little something. There’s joy in it.

Thanks to my family, friends, fellow musicians, students, teachers and encouragers for the first 30 years. And now… back to the woodshed.

Scan 1

My first guitar. I think I was going for sort of a Peavey stack for the upcoming stadium tour. The studio pro on top is the first amp. My grandma gave me the lightning bolt strap for Christmas! Also, a nice place to keep a pick… under the pick guard. Ahead of my time.

Scan 3

My first actual performance with the guitar. This is, I believe, the “constitutional rap” as done by our class. That’s MC Stephen Walkup blowing mad rhymes about our bill of rights. Hard to see (other than the shirt!), but I’m playing that guitar. Actually, I don’t think you could even consider it playing. I was more making slide-y noises to punctuate the beliefs of our forefathers. You gotta fight.. for your right… God Bless America!

Scan 2

This is one of our first real gigs. Middle Earth is… Ed Daniels, Joseph Heard, Jason Riley, Michael Logan and Christopher Jones. Northside Saloon in Tarkio MO. I was probably 15. By then you can see we are up to a WALL of Peavey amps behind us. My cousin, Eric made that banner for us. Pretty nice! We had to play “Old time rock n roll”, some Alabama songs and all the Skynryd we could manage.

14 Jan, 2016

The Best of KC Music Showcase – Chance the Arm, Soca Jukebox & Maria the Mexican

Culture Show

Best of KC Music Showcase on Saturday, January 16, at 9 p.m.
Chance the Arm, Soca Jukebox and Maria the Mexican – VooDoo Lounge at Harrah’s Casino North Kansas City

Groupon.Com Deal
https://www.groupon.com/deals/gl-chance-the-arm-w-soca-jukebox-and-maria-the-mexican

Best of KC Music Showcase
Chance the Arm: By blending traditional Celtic melodies with hard rock, lilting bluegrass, and energetic live performances, this seven-piece band has been making a name for itself in Missouri and beyond since its 2010 inception.
Soca Jukebox: What happens when you fuse steel pans with Latin percussion and shredding guitars? You get Soca Jukebox, an eclectic musical act that takes its cues from Soca—or Soul Calypso—as well as good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll.
Maria the Mexican: Helmed by sisters Maria and Teresa Cuevas, this quartet weaves Mexican folklore and bilingual lyrics into soulfully bluesy rock tinged with Mariachi music.

31 Dec, 2015

Coda – 2015

Screen shot 2015-06-11 at 4.48.50 PM2015 was one for the history books! Over one hundred performances and 10’s of thousands of road miles with 15 different acts. Tons of fun music with great musicians for friends, family and fun folks all over the country.

I am so lucky to be able to do what I love to do and to work with friends all along the way. Sincere thanks to my family, each of the musicians, bookers, agents, clubs, festivals, encouragers, supporters, students and fans that make this musical life a reality.

We’re set for an exciting new year too but here’s the highlights of 2015! Thank you for making it a great one.

jason and co.

Coda – 2015

In the Studio – Always grateful for the opportunity to work on records and 2015 included some in-studio work for new albums from Maria The Mexican (I even wrote some string parts), Pig Farmer and a special track for our friends, Under the Big Oak Tree.

11182215_1095344557149202_1957317047676743565_nThe Jams – I like to play. I mean… I REALLY like to play. I played gigs by myself, with Soca Jukebox, Maria The Mexican, Soca Duo, Pig Farmer, The KC All-Stars, Under The Influence, My Homies – Ed Daniels and Chris Jones, Bryan Alford, Dan Bliss and Craig Kew. 2015 offered us a third shot at opening for Los Lobos at Knucklehead and an invitation to be the special guest for “A Night of Jazz” with the Central High School Jazz Band.

A real highlight of the year was getting to set in with our friends, Bonerama from New Orleans. I’ve got a family “in” with this great band. Besides their own brass funk originals they play tons of amazing guitar rock from Hendrix, The Allman Bros. and Led Zeppelin. Those are my people!

The most fun, however, was sitting in with the New Orleans Jazz Vipers at the Spotted Cat in New Orleans, LA. It was my first time in the city which was just super inspiring and quite frankly, mesmerizing. Perhaps I was Hoodoo’d but I caught a lucky break from our family friend (Trombonist Craig Klein plays in Bonerama and the Jazz Vipers) and got to play 3 sets of incredible, traditional and swing jazz (much in a KC style) with an ever-revolving cast of great players. Some of these tunes I only knew from records and had never heard a real band actually play. It was AWESOME and I loved every minute. I even got to check out the green room with a balcony overlooking Frenchmen street. It was a real New Orleans experience for me. Thanks Craig!!

Brinnon and Marks Comedy Consult – I didn’t laugh this hard all year. Really special to have Steve and Joe at the house to brain storm on some upcoming musical comedy skits for their show. I don’t know that they can use any of it but I was in tears and in stitches.
6 Hour Widow-Maker – Did I mention that like to play? Some days I’ll put in 10 or 11 hours if I’ve got practicing, teaching and a gig to do. Used to be a little easier a few years ago. This was a first for a solo gig though… six hours on Valentines day. My wife is a saint.
Maria the Mexican!

Maria the Mexican!

Folk Alliance International Conference – This is a major event right in our backyard. So excited to be a part of it and to have an official showcase (and a few unofficial ones) with Maria the Mexican. Classes, concerts and late night jams. Met a lot of great people from all over the world that week in KC and actually got to hang with a lot of our local musicians we otherwise miss coming and going.
I Love Teaching! – Besides just playing guitar I’m blessed to be able to share what I know with others. This year included my first ever SKYPE lessons, a growing library of my own teaching materials and writings AND we started my Mom on guitar! This is the same lady that I had to beg for years to buy me one. I knew she’d come around.
We also graduated 2 outstanding guitar seniors from MWSU. Really special to see these awards go to our student guitarists.
IMG_1648Soca 500 – Soca Jukebox celebrated 500 Shows together this year. Many, many bands will give up after just a few. It’s a lot to make it to 100 and most will never even keep track. Luckily, our amazing bassist is also an amazing accountant so the IRS always gets their share. BOO! I am so proud and fortunate to be able to work with the great group of guys. I’m not going to lie… we celebrated a little. Just a little. We also commissioned a commemorative shaker/bottle opener for the occasion. We always seem to need either a bottle opener or a shaker for something so we thought… hey… solution.
11122248_10202719958559080_1139545800_oBenson PartyUnder the Influence played a very special celebration for our longtime friends and fans, John and Lori Benson. Our band is like family and it was truly special to be included in this amazing evening. A combination of great production, family, friends, hugs and faces rocked off.
(Jolie had to rush out that night to meet our kids at the emergency room. Seems the daughter had “popped” the son in the mouth pushing his teeth through his tongue! Innocent horseplay, they said. I’m sure he deserved it for something. He was sweet, she was compassionate and they remain siblings to this day!)
FacultyRecital3Renaissance Man – I don’t get to play strictly classical guitar all that often these days. So when I got the opportunity to accompany fellow Benedictine College music professor, Sean Teets, on a concert of all Renaissance music I bowed politely and said “Huzzah!”
Soca Summer Tour – We called the “Victory Lap” in celebration of all the shows we’ve played together. It truly was a great and memorable summer. Some day, I’ll be able to tell my grandkids that we played for Hardee’s AND Kool-Aid Days! It was a summer filled with festivals, private parties and charitable events. That’s how we roll.
Scan 1MWSU Founder’s Day – I began walking onto the campus of Missouri Western State COLLEGE in the fall of 1991. Ouch… that hurts to admit. I didn’t realize it at the time, but as a member of the Golden Griffon Marching Band I would form lifelong friendships and music business partners. That’s where I was introduced to all the members of Under The Influence, the guys that would later become Soca Jukebox and even the founders of Maria the Mexican. The ol’ Alma Mater has gone through many changes over the years (and more to come I’m sure). Under the Influence was part of the celebration that renamed the place a “UNIVERSITY”. It was a real honor for me to a part of the 100 years/Founder’s Day/Alumni Celebration with Soca Jukebox and Maria The Mexican this fall. I got the worst sunburn that I’ve ever had that day. It was worth it.
Scan 3“Lay You Down” – Soca Jukebox released their very first original single this year. It’s something we’ve talked about for a long time and it finally came to pass. It’s a great song too, we’ve had so much amazing response from all over about it and we are really proud of it.
Screen shot 2015-10-28 at 2.46.05 PM“Who You Gonna Call?” – While I’ve played a lot of different stuff with full symphony orchestra it was a great treat to get to play “wah-wah” guitar for the St. Joseph Symphony’s Halloween Concert ON Halloween. Only one selection… “The Theme from Ghostbusters”! After some embarrassing discussion with the conductor about why he was waving that stick so much, what do all these black dots mean and how a proper electric guitarist would know how to provide a combination glissando WITH appropriate timbral inflection… I realized on the night of the show that I only had 2 of the 4 pages of the written music. “Who you gonna call?” Somebody with the other pages? Nope. JPR got you covered. Great performance for the Symphony and just a fun, fun night for all Hallow’s eve.
Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 2.16.54 PMRoddy Barnes – When you grow up as little guy, from a little town, sometimes there’s just not a lot that’s available to you. Sure, you might get these big ideas in your head about breaking out, being your own man, making it in your own way, hell or high water. Where I was growing up, the high water could only be a flooding Tarkio river and the only guy to break out musically was Roddy Barnes. His doing so was an inspiration for what might be possible to the rest of us.
It was a real honor to share a show with him this fall. It was a great night. It was a memorable night. Some friends and family from the hometown and lots from the new town. I was kind of proud. To see everyone sitting and really LISTENING. Roddy is an amazing songwriter, honky-tonker and story-teller of the “good news”. It was great to hear him and share a few songs together. I was LISTENING and I got the message again.
Screen shot 2015-04-26 at 12.59.21 PMOh yeah… and something about the KC Royals… what was it? what was it?

I know there were lots of other memorable moments, things small and large that I’ll just keep to myself. It went way too fast. I’ll hope to slow 2016 down at least a little bit.

Here’s to making today the best yet. And tomorrow. Happy New Year!!!!

24 Dec, 2015

Merry Christmas!!!

xmascard12

Wishing you and your families all the best of the season.

Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016!!!

jason and co.

2 Dec, 2015

Gifts for your Guitarist

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 11.43.04 AM

Looking for a gift for that guitarist in your life? You can encourage their musical growth and help speed their progress with a few key tools. Here’s a list of a few items that every guitarist can benefit from and that we all need in our “toolbox”. There’s a wide range of items from very inexpensive tools to unlimited expenditures on tutoring or new rigs. You might check to see what your guitarist already has or might be most interested in. Here’s a few things we all can use.

Electronic tuner ($15-25) – I recommend a clip-on tuner. They are a great invention and clip right on to the end of the guitar. You can also get free guitar tuning apps for your smart devices these days. Other options are stand alone tuners, pedal based tuners, pitch pipes and tuning forks. Go with the clip on type if you can.

Music stand ($15-75) – Every practicing musician needs a music stand. The inexpensive fold-up kinds are just fine but something a little more substantial is better. It’s a tool they should use everyday for years.

Guitarist’s foot stool ($12-20) – Foot stools are commonly used in classical guitar playing and sitting positions but they are great for all guitarists. They just help us get a better hold on the instrument and raise it up a bit which makes everything easier.

Metronome ($20-100) – Everyone needs a metronome. Again, there are apps out for metronomes for your smart device. Options are the old school “pendulum” types that wind up or more modern electrical, quartz or battery driven digital models. I personally wear out metronomes because I use them so much. My favorite for the past several years is a $60 Boss Dr. Beat (DB-60) that is a metronome, tuner and timer combo.

Capo ($5-25) – Sometimes called a “cheater bar”, capos are an important and enlightening tool for any guitar player. They allow us to easily transpose music to other keys and offer fresh and inspiring sounds. They actually make the guitar a little easier to play too!

Picks (.25 – $10) – Picks or “plectrums” come in a variety of shapes, sizes, thicknesses and materials. Don’t go crazy here but do get a variety or different ones for your guitarists to have on hand. We use different picks for different styles of play. Players who have some long-term experience may know exactly what their favorite picks are. I still like to try different ones from time to time for a different feel or inspiration.

Guitar straps ($10-40)— Straps come in a variety of styles and can add a little personality or flair to your instrument. They can be made from a variety of materials from nylon, fabrics or leather. I usually try to find one that matches the color tone of my instruments (each guitar has it’s own dedicated strap) and I like wider ones versus narrow. Acoustic guitars will sometimes need additional strap buttons installed. You can also by strap locks ($30) that will keep the guitar from slipping out of the strap. My heavier electric guitars all have strap locks.

New instrument cable ($15-25) – Guitar cables wear out from time to time (even if they say “lifetime warranty”). They are around $1 per foot and most guitarists will use the 15-25 ft models. If you are running amps will effects pedals or pedal boards you’ll need cabling in a variety of lengths from 6 inches to 25 feet depending on the number of items in the signal chain.

Slides ($5-20) – Slides are little tubes of metal or glass that slip over a left hand finger. They create a sort of “Hawaiian” sound and many guitar styles are based on their use. They are a fun tool to have on hand. It’s important to get the right size for your finger, like buying a ring. Choosing the steel or glass one is up to you. Normally, the steel ones are for acoustic and the glass ones for electric, but really anything goes.

Cleaning cloth/Polish ($5-20) – A clean, cotton polishing cloth is best. Actually, a good ol’ cotton t-shirt is a great guitar rag. Mostly, you’ll use elbow grease to remove fingerprints and oils from the finish. I always have one on hand to keep it dry when we are playing outside in the summer months and always give the guitar a good wipe down before it goes in a case. Cleaners and polishes are also available but they are a “sometimes” application. A little goes a long way.

Strings/String winder ($8-15) – Guitar stings break on occasion. Having a spare set is a must. The comes in specific gauges and materials. Experienced players know the gauges and brands they prefer. If you aren’t sure, just make sure you buy for the right type of guitar. Electric guitar, steel-string acoustic or nylon strings for classical guitars are the basic choices. Steel strings (usually made from nickel) are gauged roughly from extra light to heavy. Go with the light or extra light. Nylon strings for classical guitar are gauged by tension, normal through hard tension. I’d go with at least hard but I personally use the super-high or super hard tensions. A string winder is an inexpensive little tool that helps you put the strings on a little faster. You need one and they are probably a couple of bucks.

Guitar stands ($10-30) – A guitar stand is better than leaning the guitar on the wall. They make it easier for players to keep the guitar out of the case and at hand for practicing. They also make ones that you can install on your wall so they are up and out of the way or even part of the room decoration.

Guitar case ($25-1000) – Every guitar needs a case. If you’re not playing it, the case is the safest place for it. There are soft cases, chipboard and hard cases. You’ll pay a premium for the sturdiest of flight cases for your world tour. All my road guitars are in hard cases. Soft cases require a little more care but are generally easy to pack around and have shoulder straps. Avoid the chipboard variety if you can. They wear out quickly.

Subscription to a guitar magazine ($12-25 per annual) – Everyone likes to get fun things in the mail. Guitar magazines are filled with profiles of famous players, adds for the newest guitar creations and LESSONS! My favorite is Guitar Player as it’s pretty well rounded. Guitar World is more for rock and heavy metal folks. Acoustic Guitar player is great too. You can find one for any style and there are a lot of online options too if you like to save the trees.

Guitar books ($10-50) – I love guitar books. There are so many method books and artist folios from every style and historical period. I’ve been building my guitar library for many years and continue to do so. Guitar books are always a great gift. Some of my personal recommendations are below.

Fakebooks ($25-40) – Fakebooks are a collection of songs, usually in specific style. They will contain anywhere between 200 and 1000 tunes written in traditional notation, lyrics and chord symbols. Musicians take that basic info off the page and we “fake” the song, making it up as we go along with intros, endings and maybe solos too. They are available in every style these days… Jazz, Bluegrass, Broadway, Folk, The best fake book ever, The Real book, even THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS GUITAR FAKEBOOK! A new fakebook every year will really add to your guitarist’s library.

30 Day Guitar Challenge ($10) – Sign up for the 30 Day Guitar Challenge and your guitarist will receive daily video tutorials, lessons, exercises, assignments, challenges and encouragement from me, everyday for 30 days! In-depth tools, topics and motivation to guide them through their most productive 30 days ever. Add even more inspiration and value to your guitar studies. Our most exiting on-line, educational product for early 2016 from jasonriley.com. Buy it now, below and we’ll send you a certificate to present at holiday time.





Guitar Lessons ($20-100) – A great music tutor or coach can get advancing guitarists on the right path and the right plan. They can help students save time in learning and provide encouragement when the going gets tough. Finding the right teacher for your student is a must. It’s definitely a two-way street and personalities, learning and teaching styles need to line-up. Experienced teachers will know what a student needs, understand a variety of learning styles and be able to include many of the students own musical interests. I am grateful to the many great guitar mentors and teachers I’ve had through the years.

365 Day Guitar Challenge – Talk to your guitarists often about their practicing and encourage them to make time. We become guitarists by having the guitar in our hand a little everyday. I’ll be talking to my students about the 365 Day Guitar Challenge for 2016. All you have to do is just pick up your instrument everyday. That’s it. Most will go ahead and do a little playing or practicing while they’ve got it. It’s not easy so not everyone will be up to the challenge. I’ll admit, I missed a day or two this last year. But for those with fortitude the 365 Day Guitar Challenge will be a fun reminder that the guitar really is a part of their daily routine. We are guitarists! And it’s Free.

I’m sure you guitarist would also welcome a brand new guitar, amplifier or pedal board at any time. If you are in the market for some larger or more expensive items, you can drop me a note anytime, I’ll share my thoughts and can give a point in the right direction. If you have any other questions about the items listed, I’m always happy to talk guitar and can get specific about the needs of your particular guitarist. Send me a note to jason@jasonriley.com anytime.

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2016!

jason and co.

What guitar books are the best?

Guitarists everywhere get a great amount of knowledge and practice from specific methods, topical material and artist folios. Some of the first methods for guitar were published in the 19th century by the very first guitarists. The famous “methode por guitarre” by the Spanish monk and baroque guitarist, Gaspar Sanz, dates back to the 1600’s. Many modern guitarists got their early start reading from the methods of Mel Bay and Alfred’s. I’ve built a great guitar library over the years but there are a few books that have been really important in my growth. Books that have taught me foundational concepts, delivered flashes of insight and that I return to again and again. Here’s a quick list of some great books for the guitar.

The Advancing Guitarist – Mick Goodrick
Pumping Nylon – Scott Tenant
The Charlie Parker Omni Book
Jerry Hahn’s Complete Method for the Jazz Guitar
The Complete Joe Pass
Sheets of Sound for Guitar – Jack Zucker
Zen Guitar – Philip Toshio Sudo
Effortless Mastery – Kenny Werner
The Jazz Theory Book – Mark Levine
The Royal Conservatory Series
The Suzuki Guitar Series
Jazz Improvisation: The Goal Note Method – Shelton Berg
Thesaurus of Scales and Chords – Nicolas Slominsky
Creative Guitar 1 and 2 – Guthrie Govan
Ted Greene’s Books
The Library of Guitar Classics – Amsco Publishing
Frederick Noad’s Solo Guitar playing and historical folios
Berklee Press – Melodic Rhythms, Reading and Advanced Reading Studies for the Guitar, Pick style classical guitar – William Leavitt
Sight reading for the classical guitarist 1 and 2 – Robert Benedict
Building a Jazz Vocabulary – Mike Steinel
Matt Smith’s Chop Shop
The Big Book of Jazz Guitar – Mark Dziuba
Kitharalogus – Ricardo Iznaola
Guitar Lore – Dennis Sandole
Intervallic Designs – Joe Diorio
Forward Motion – Hal Galper
Mickey Baker’s Jazz and Hot guitar books
Rhythm Changes 1 2 and 3 – Frank Vignola
Juan Serrano’s Flamenco Method
Dennis Koster’s Keys to Flamenco 1 and 2
The Guitarists Compendium Series (Howard Roberts)
The Book of Six Strings – Philip Toshio Sudo
Guitar Player Repair Guide – Dan Erlewine
The Solo Lute Works of Johann Sebastian Bach – Frank Koonce
The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron
My Guitar Basics
My Artist Repertoire Series
My New Books
Syncopation for the Modern Drummer

Fake Books – The Real Books, The Ultimate Jazz Fakebook, Ultimate Guitar Christmas, Classic Rock, the Ultimate Fakebook and the Best Fake Book Ever.

9 Nov, 2015

Tarkio Road – Roddy Barnes and Jason Riley Together

When I was growing up, there were a handful of great musicians in our area that you could look up to. Roddy Barnes was one to set a very high bar for us. He really is a musical legend from our part of the world. There were few who could follow their heart and passion to make their way in the world with their music. Roddy was a great example of what might be possible for those of us who wanted to break out on our own.

It’s a real honor to share a show with the man himself, his voice, a piano, some friends and his original music.
Just a couple of “good ol’ boys” from Atchison County, Missouri together for a couple of sets at Magoon’s in St. Joseph. Ok… that’s probably the first time anyone referred to either of us a good ol’ boy. I think it fits here.

Big THANK YOU to Roddy for making it happen. Show is at 8. Come early and stay late

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 2.16.54 PM

29 Oct, 2015

Soca Jukebox on iTunes

Soca Jukebox released their original single “Lay You Down” on iTunes last week. The band has had a great response so thanks to all of our people who have supported it. I do have a little hand in what goes on there and was honored to co-write the tune with CJ.

We are really proud of it and hope everyone will dig it on their summer time playlist, when you are ready for a little romance in your life or need an winter-time getaway.

If you don’t have a copy yet, just drop me a note and we’ll send it forth gratis (that’s free). But if you really just need to get rid of .99 cents (probably for tax purposes) here’s the link to the iTunes.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/lay-you-down-single/id1034421522

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/socajukebox

spotify
Soca Jukebox

Scan 3

28 Oct, 2015

A Classical Halloween (with electric guitar)

Screen shot 2015-10-28 at 2.46.05 PM

I’ll be performing with the St. Joseph Symphony on All Hallow’s Eve this year. Glad to get the call. Appropriate that we are playing “Ghostbusters”. I mean… “who you gonna call?”

Hope it’s a safe and fun night for all.

for tickets…
http://saintjosephsymphony.org/

Not sure if if my costume would be that of a symphony musician or perhaps one of these…
JR_penguinpose2_Sm
IMG_6154
Boo!

12 Oct, 2015

Soca Jukebox “Lay You Down” Release Party

Island Rock impressarios, Soca Jukebox, are proud to announce the release of their first original single.
Soca J St
“Lay You Down” is a stripped down, acoustic, island rock ballad written by Clay Johnston and Jason Riley and features a duet-style backing vocal by Jolie Riley. Johnston whispers in the listener’s ear through an intimate conversation accompanied by reggae-inspired acoustic guitars, light percussion and colorful accents. “Lay You Down” is love song about a couple at the edge of walking away or making it all work out. “Hang on another day, resist the urge to run and stay to hideaway in our love.”

 The song represents the band’s first original music release.

Soca Jukebox is the premier show band in their genre and has toured extensively. The band released a double live album in 2014 called “Live Voodoo and Live Voodoo Too”. Soca Jukebox shows feature a wide variety of stylized arrangements of familiar music from influential artists like Bob Marley, Santana, Sublime, The Eagles, Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffett and a liberal sprinkling of band’s own island and latin rock originals.
The initial reviews for “Lay You Down” have been very positive and some even more “ecstatic”.



“It’s a really great song. You might have a hit! Thanks for sharing it.”
Craig K, New Orleans LA

“I Love it!”
Kristi J, Austin TX

“Same headspace as Sublime’s ‘40oz. to Freedom’”
Andrew R, Denver CO

“Cool Song!”
Amanda J, Kansas City MO

“I think that is a beautiful song. Thanks for sharing. Brought tears.”
Nici G, Omaha NE
“
LOVE!!!”
Dani J, Houston TX

“Great Job. I would get this out ASAP”
Jeff T, Kansas City MO

“We love your music and this is a nice change of pace.”
Jimmy P, Lincoln NE

“I love it! I like the smooth even flow throughout the song. Great lyrics and creates a mood. Clay and Jolie sound great together. You guys really came up with a good one. Got real possibilities.”
Rick R., Kearney NE

Soca Jukebox will be celebrating locally with a release party on Oct. 17, 2015 at the St. Joe Frontier Casino. The first 75 guests will receive free download cards with special gifts and prizes throughout the night. The show is free and starts at 9pm.

6 Oct, 2015

Soca Jukebox – “Lay You Down” (Lyric Video)

Soca Jukebox writes songs.

Songs have words and they are meant to be sung.

Original music from Soca Jukebox…

“Lay You Down” is a stripped down, acoustic, island rock ballad written by Clay Johnston and Jason Riley and features a duet-style backing vocal by Jolie Riley. Johnston whispers in the listener’s ear through an intimate conversation accompanied by reggae-inspired acoustic guitars, light percussion and colorful accents. “Lay You Down” is love song about a couple at the edge of walking away or making it all work out. “Hang on another day, resist the urge to run and stay to hideaway in our love.”

The song represents the band’s first original music release. Soca Jukebox is the premier show band in their genre and has toured extensively. The band released a double live album in 2014 called “Live Voodoo and Live Voodoo Too”. Soca Jukebox shows feature a wide variety of stylized arrangements of familiar music from influential artists like Bob Marley, Santana, Sublime, The Eagles, Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffett and a liberal sprinkling of band’s own island and latin rock originals.
The initial reviews for “Lay You Down” have been very positive and some even more “ecstatic”.

“It’s a really great song. You might have a hit! Thanks for sharing it.”
Craig K, New Orleans LA
“I Love it!”
Kristi J, Austin TX
“Same headspace as Sublime’s ‘40oz. to Freedom’”
Andrew R, Denver CO
“Cool Song!”
Amanda J, Kansas City MO
“I think that is a beautiful song. Thanks for sharing. Brought tears.”
Nici G, Omaha NE
“LOVE!!!”
Dani J, Houston TX
“Great Job. I would get this out ASAP”
Jeff T, Kansas City MO
“We love your music and this is a nice change of pace.”
Jimmy P, Lincoln NE
“I love it! I like the smooth even flow throughout the song. Great lyrics and creates a mood. Clay and Jolie sound great together. You guys really came up with a good one. Got real possibilities.”
Rick R., Kearney NE