Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Patrick Stolley
One of the things that didn't happen when Jay Nash, Joey Ryan and Chris Seefried were in town at the end of June was that anyone went out and took a good look around the interior of the trio's motor vehicle. No one hung around the doors while their guitars were packed back in before saying all of the goodbyes and keep in touches that happen when people decide to leave. What this car or van could have been like is anybody's guess - all of ours now after so much harrumphing about it, after all this suspenseful wordiness - but there had to be a mess on those inside walls, all along the rims of those various cup holders and sticking to the formerly transparent windshield and windows. It would take a black light to know it and no this isn't some perverse description involving seediness or lewd behavior suggesting ladies of the night, groupies or loneliness, but rather a justified acknowledgment of what had to have been used to wile the way the hours while they were planted firmly and imprisoned in close quarters from city to city.
Splattered onto everything were the stories that must have been flying, zinging by ears and whapping against walls and arm rests. Mornings must have been good, when the details of the night before - of the people they met, of the things that happened, of what the imagination deems could have been - were still pungent and sweet, hanging right there for the unveiling. Those that only come out in the late-night drives, maybe when, if they sleep on it, find a place to crash for the night, there's no way they'll make the next city in time, even with maximum ass-hauling. Those could be the doozies too, the ones that are saved for the very special occasions, when things take a turn into the confessional period of man-to-man chatter. This could be when the real loves stories emerge, when the painful, salty wounds get revisited.
Nash, Ryan and Seefried - a name bound for a law firm or a circus troupe if there ever was one - have been wounded in the past and all that means is that they've had themselves some situations - many that common sense would tell you are the luck of the draw, nothing out of the ordinary. These, however, are the stories that - when they are retold or delivered for the first time - are most fetching, the most likely to get you cut off by another person saying, "Oh, that's nothing, listen to this. Same situation, but the girl's…" and all of a sudden the thread has taken off into a different direction, marauding into a different tortured, but healed place.
The music that these three songwriters make has taken care of itself, mended a lot of the wounds with whatever bandages actually come in those hollow-bodied pieces of wood and metal. The music is the process with which stories of wanting more out of a life and a relationship - more or less - and of a girl drinking a handle of tequila and taking off her clothes in a streaking sort of way let themselves into new heads and hands, the spoonful of sugar that makes these familiar kinds of dilemmas and predicaments so ripe and flush with hot blood. These three guys are so alike all of us, albeit with a different dimension to their thinking of these things through and a habit of needing to make these troubles and lingering thoughts tiny balls of evidence for others to nod their heads to, in a calming, relaxation sort of way and in recognition that these are some of the same stories that could be stained deep into your seats and veins, you just forgot about them. But only for a time being. These are the collages that we all make, containing the spectacular everyday messes that we know everyone has a relationship with. We just never articulate them quite right, with this kind of beauty.