Hear 3 songs from the new CD "Like a River: The Songs of Jim Harris": (Released Nov. 25, 2017)
Blending roots-Americana with touches of world music, jazz, bluegrass, blues, country-folk and more, The Michael Shay Trio always surprises, engaging audiences with virtuosic musicianship, deep lyricism and just enough upbeat groove. Shay has always been a musical chameleon, creating uniquely inspired and genre-bending collaborations worldwide. The Michael Shay Trio, however, sees Michael reining in his musical "universalism" a bit to put the spotlight on his voice in the context of North American traditions. In that sense, the Trio is just as much at home in taprooms and bars as in listening rooms and theaters. "You can drink to this music, and you can think to this music."
Always featuring 3-part harmonies, the Michael Shay Trio brings together diverse instrumentalists and vocalists from different corners of the music universe to interpret Shay's and Jim Harris' songs in a mostly acoustic format. The Trio has involved Brian Oberlin, Donald Régnier, Ryan Hagler, Sam Guthridge, Spud Siegel, Chris Kee, Mark Shark and Michelle Alany.
Bass player Chris Kee is a classically trained cellist who studied ethnomusicology at Yale. Before joining the Michael Shay Trio, he lived for many years in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was a conscript of long standing in Peter Rowan’s Free Mexican Air Force, playing major festivals and concert venues with Peter. He performed and recorded with telecaster master Jim Campilongo, in the legendary Ten Gallon Cats as well as several post-Cats ensembles. He was the original bass player with the Waybacks, bassist and principal songwriter for Bay Area Americana powerhouse Houston Jones, and multi-instrumentalist and composer with the alt-Americana trio Springhouse. Chris is also much in demand as a hired gun, recording and performing with Buddy Miller (including appearances with Buddy, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin and Shaw Colvin), Jim Lauderdale, Norah Jones, and many others. When not performing with Michael, Chris can also be seen in dives around Portland playing honking screaming jump blues with saxophonist Ralph Carney and the Peppergrinders.
Guitarist Mark Shark has played with Jesse Ed Davis, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Terry Evans, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, John Trudell, Taj Mahal, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Jennifer Warnes, and Bob Weir. Known for his masterful use of alternate tunings, Mark published the book "The Tao of Tunings" in 2008. After more than thirty years working with acclaimed spoken-word artist and activist John Trudell, Mark recently relocated from Los Angeles to Portland where he began playing with fellow transplant Michael Shay, bluesman Lloyd Jones, and many others.