LIKE A RIVER CD 2017. Featuring the Texas country-folk compositions of longtime collaborator Jim Harris, this lush and elegant production begun in Austin, Texas, continued in Quito, Ecuador, and wrapped up in Portland, Oregon. Perhaps not the Americana album you'd expect -with touches of jazz, classical, blues, rock, and world music weaving together the deeply poetic lyrics of a fellow Texan -the record is a journey through intricate and surprising soundscapes which feature Shay's deep baritone voice.
Both longtime collaborators of Ragged Union's Geoff Union, one of the songs is a co-write between Union and Harris, and three others feature music by Austin's Gabriel Rhodes (Willie Nelson, Kimmie Rhodes). Shay has previously recorded some of Harris' songs on his previous records, including "Willow's Tune" which featured a duet with Anais Mitchell, and "The Birds Do Sing" featuring Patrick McAvinue (both songs are included in the "Decadence" compilation). Available now on iTunes / Amazon
TEXAS EXPRESS 2012- present. Michael Shay-guitar/voice, Spud Siegel-mandolin/voice, Annie Staninec-fiddle/voice, Chris Kee-bass/voice. Swapping between Shay's original country-folk songs and the other band members' favorite traditional bluegrass, Western, ragtime and blues tunes, the Texas Express duo, trio, quartet, or quintet (just add banjo!) features vocal harmonies galore, and truly exciting chemistry expressed through the band's unique repertoire. Texas Express released a debut CD "Disfruteria!" in Ecuador in 2012 and is now based out of the USA. Members have included Annie Staninec, Spud Siegel, Sam Guthridge, Patrick McAvinue, Ryan Hagler, Garrett Siegers, Geoff Union, Andy Sebastia, Phoebe Hunt, Brian Oberlin, Chris Kee, Peter Schwimmer, and Ben Blechman. More TEXAS EXPRESS info and music here
KORATET 2018-2020. An ensemble that fuses the rhythmic West-African harp with the extended harmony of jazz - a convergence of compositional textures and improvisation quite unlike anything heard before. The cello of Michael Shay brings sustained melodic swells and driving bass lines. The trumpet of Jonathan Roberts fuses a classically-trained ear with modern jazz sensibility and experimentation. The percussion of Steven Skolnik balances subtle expressiveness with danceability. And Will Dudley innovates an ancient, beautiful sound with his modified chromatic kora. Exploring the horizons of tradition, genre and instrumentation, The Koratet stands on the fertile ground of groove, seeding expansive explorations of Dudley’s and Roberts’ compositions, repertoire learned from the griots of Mali, and much more. videos / bandcamp
PE DE CHINELO 2019. Michael on cello, Mark Machina on rabeca (Brazilian fiddle), Joe Gross on button accordion + full percussion section. Slinging some of the original instruments known to the Northeastern Brazilian world of Forro which are rarely seen today at all (let alone together as a pair) Pe de Chinelo features the old school accordion (sanfona) called "oito baixos" with it's unique color, drive and texture, with the rabeca, a rural Brazilian folk fiddle and cousin to the violin, often called the "people's instrument". Combined with the drive of a percussion rooted in Afro Brazilian tradition and sewn together with rhythmically lyrical bass lines, Pe de Chinelo brings a unique approach to traditions deeply rooted in the Northeast of Brazil and translated in a common musical tongue.
MICHAEL SHAY TRIO - 2015-2018. Toured in support of 2015 release "Decadence" and 2017 release of "Like a River: The Songs of Jim Harris". The Trio distilled itself as an vehicle for Shay as a singer and songwriter, centering his rich baritone voice in a sonic universe of elegance, nuance, and 3 part harmonies. Members include Chris Kee, Mark Shark, Donald Regnier, Ryan Hagler, Brian Oberlin, Geoff Union, and David Phillips..
THE JUST DESSERTS 2006-2020. As “curators of delightful musical delicacies from every corner of the globe,” The Just Desserts explored repertoire and rhythms from dozens of different countries, reinterpreting and sometimes re-envisioning any music that caught their attention. Centered around the unique pairing of accordion and cello, their always-evolving, deeply original sound included elements of Latin, Balkan, tango, Americana, pan-European, western classical, Indian, Klezmer, jazz, blues, electronica, and Arabic music. Through a sophisticated and fun framing and blending of the essence of each individual musical tradition, the universality and diversity of the world's greatest music was made profoundly accessible to diverse audiences the world over. www.thejustdesserts.com
CIRQUE DEL SHAY/ PACHECO, REGNIER, Y SHAY 2012 - 2016. In Ecuador, Shay performed in both acoustic and electric formats with collaborators such as French guitarist Donald Regnier, Ecuadorian accordionist/pianist Daniel Pacheco, and Texan bassist Ryan Hagler. videos!
"DECADENCE" CD AND TOUR 2014-2015. Compilation CD featuring tracks from Michael Shay, Texas Express, Just Desserts, and Alive and Well from projects 2002-2012. Western USA tours in 2015 featured Donald Regnier and Ryan Hagler.
MICHAEL SHAY "DEBUT" 2004. "Lines of Darkness Lines of Light". With Anais Mitchell, Libby Kirkpatrick, Raphael Bas, Alex Coke, Eleanor Whitmore-Masterson, Geoff Union, Billy Bright, Bryn Davies. and more, + Shay on 12 instruments, original, acoustic, lush "folk" singer-songwriter CD. "The best CD anyone has given me this year." - Eliza Gilkyson. listen/buy
MICHAEL SHAY ELECTRIC BAND 2005 - present. Having been called a "jam band for grownups" whose live shows regularly elicit superlatives such as "I haven't heard music that good since 1972.", the band featured original tunes by Shay and other songwriter friends (Matt Fockler, Jim Harris, Libby Kirkpatrick) in an fiery electric context, showcasing the improvisational alchemy of rock and jazz musicians such as Andrew Borger, Mark Shark, Chris Kee, Ralph Huntley, Michelle Alany, Daniel Pacheco, Ryan Hagler, Donald Regnier, Alex Coke, Wayne Sutton, Doug Marcis, Steve Zirkel, Evan Arredondo, Glen Rexach, Elizabeth Suggs, Geoff Union, Matt Giles and David Webb. The band recorded a CD in 2006 that is yet to be released. Have a listen to a few live tracks recorded by JCrX at Ruta Maya in Austin in 2005-2007: stream here