Instruments: Guitar, ukulele, bass, keyboards, drums, harmonica and vocals.
Day Job: Full-time musician, guitar and ukuelele instructor at Arkansas MusicWorks.
Type of Music: The music I play ranges from classic country to Top 40. Originals or Covers: Although I’ve been a singer/songwriter for thirty years, I mostly play covers to make a living and fund recording my original material. For me, one of the great things about performing covers is the audience -- I enjoy the challenge of recreating a song and giving it my own unique feel and sound.
Sounds Like: Clint Black, Lady Antebellum, Hank Williams Jr., David Gray, ZZ Top, Merle Haggard, The Eagles, Bob Seger, Kings of Leon, Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, Joe Diffie, Jimmy Buffet, Jamie Johnson, Craig Morgan, Glenn Campbell, Bad Company, Lynrd Skynrd, Marshall Tucker, Don Mclean.
Influences: Same as above.
First Performance: My first performance was singing a cappella at church at age twelve. I learned to play guitar later that year and continued to play for the congregation repeatedly. My dad was a bar musician and taught me the few chords he knew but other than that I’ve never had a lesson. I bought a John Denver Greatest Hits songbook and cassette tape and began memorizing complex chords and rhythms, so you might say I got private instruction from John Denver. (Yes, I started playing before the invention of digital music.)
Favorite Performance: In addition to being a solo performer, I was also in a three piece variety band, our name was Crossroads, for several years. Crossroads performed all over the state of Michigan and in the greater Nashville area. The band even auditioned to open for Brooks and Dunn and we came in second place to a six piece band! This is my favorite performance, even though we didn't win, because Brooks and Dunn’s manager gave me his card and said, "You belong in Nashville, boy, call me when you get there."
Accomplishments: I’ve been lucky enough to perform with some great musicians in downtown Nashville -- studio musicians who had recorded with Patty Loveless, Keith Whitley, Holly Dunn, Tom T. Hall, Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and countless others. Funniest or strangest thing that ever happened during a performance: Let's just say the "moon" was bright…
Albums: None yet, but I’m working on an album which is currently titled, Jay Yates Music Man
Backstage Ritual: I always play the same phrase on guitar repeatedly faster and faster to warm up. It annoys everyone within listening distance.
New Projects: I ha ve recently started a new association for songwriters coined the NWA Songwriters Association in conjunction with a “Writers in the Round" project to help educate, motivate and collaborate with young budding artists.
Last CD purchased: Foo Fighters,
Most played songs on my iPod: “Babylon” (David Gray), “Fugitive” (David Gray) and “Born Again” (Third Day).