Singer-songwriter Jason Sinay leads two lives. In one life, he’s a respected studio guitarist. Sinay has worked with legends such as Neil Diamond, Jerry Lee Lewis, Toots And The Maytals, and produced many notable TV spots, most recently a Super Bowl ad featuring Adriana Lima. In his other life, Sinay enthusiastically leads a virtuosic Americana band with a deeply engaged fan base.
Jason Sinay and his band have been favorably compared to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (whose ace guitarist, Mike Campbell, Sinay gigs with in The Dirty Knobs), the Grateful Dead, and Mark Knopfler. The quartet features Jason Sinay guitar/vocals and the seasoned talents of, Phil Parlapiano keys (Lucinda Williams, John Prine, Grant Lee Buffalo), Mike Mennel (Joe Bonamassa, Keith Urban, Neil Schon & Jonathan Cain), and Phil Jones drums (Tom Petty, Cracker, Waddy Wachtel Band). The band is a songs-first type of jam band, where flights of stratospheric virtuosity are contextualized by durable and well-crafted folk, soul, and blues-based compositions. The band’s limber improvisations, ranging from sublime minimalism to soaring outpourings, have captivated a highly devoted fan base.
“The way I describe the band to people is ‘it’s like I’m in eleventh grade again and I’m happy to play in front of four people,’” he enthuses.
That’s a bold statement from such a sought-after career guitarist. Jason Sinay literally grew up in recording studios. His uncle ran a jingle company servicing consumer giants like McDonald’s and Mattel Toys. He started hanging around the studio when he was 8, and during high school he was a gofer. “My first session was for Pac Man Cereal. I remember saying, ‘I hear a bass part here,’ and my uncle had me play it. He was excited he didn’t have to pay me,” Sinay laughs. “I got to play with LA’s best musicians.”
Sinay attended Berklee College Of Music and then moved back to LA to pursue the studio scene. Parallel to this, he co-founded the alternative pop group Five Easy Pieces who released a self-titled debut in 1998 on MCA. Esteemed producer Don Smith (Rolling Stones, Keith Richards, Tom Petty) presided over that band’s recording, and it was during these sessions Sinay had a transformative moment. “I’ve wanted to do a solo record forever, but ended up in other people’s bands just being the guitar player. During the Five Easy Pieces recording, I wasn’t really a singer or a songwriter, but when I sat down with Don and played him 3 of my songs, he said ‘I want to produce this.’ Then things became very real.” The two worked for 7 years on Sinay’s solo debut with a revolving cast of studio musicians. The ensuing album, Ape, was picked up by Kevin Eggers and signed to Tomato Records (Townes Van Zant’s label home).
Ape & The Wall Of Questions, the band’s sophomore release, was a band-oriented in-the-moment album. Tracked at the famed Sound City Studios in LA—since shutdown, but highly regarded for landmark recordings by such diverse artists as Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Nirvana, Rage Against The Machine, among many others—it captures some of Los Angeles’s finest musicians at the peak of nuanced, real-time band interplay. Martin Pradler (John Mayer, Ry Cooder) produced the album, and it has a studio-as-additional-acoustic-instrument ambience rarely heard in this tracked-in-a-shoebox ProTools era. It’s a living and breathing recording. It captures that elusive jam-band ideal of live fluidity documented with pristine-but-vibe-y production; in short, it’s lightning in a bottle
On his third release, Jason Sinay and band teamed up once again with Pradler at the producing helm, for a four song masterpiece, simply titled EP. “We set up on that first day of tracking at Sound City—over the years, I’ve done some great records in that room—and an engineer came up to me and said ‘I see bands come in here all the time and they have no idea how good they have it, and you you’re jumping up and down, but you grew up in a recording studio!’!
It’s refreshing to feel youthful enthusiasm from such a distinguished vet. Jason Sinay was the guitarist in soul legend Ivan Neville’s touring band. He played on Tift Merritt’s Grammy Award-nominated George Drakroulias-produced album Tambourine. Sinay has also had the rare honor to play with most of his inspirations, Keith Richards, Neil Young, Bob Weir, Joe Bonamassa, Kris Kristofferson, and Tom Petty’s legendary guitarist, Mike Campbell. For over a decade now, Sinay has played with Campbell in the roots rock all-stars The Dirty Knobs. Sinay also played on Neil Diamond’s career-reviving 12 Songs, produced by Rick Rubin, and he played on Jerry Lee Lewis’ late-career masterpiece, Mean Old Man. Performed and recorded with America’s Got Talent/Epic Records recording artist Michael Grimm.
Jason Sinay understands the importance of fully engaging his wide audience of music lovers and guitar enthusiast. Jason takes to social media daily to interact with his followers with his down to earth and charming presence, offering complete accessibility to his guitar-centric life. A self-proclaimed guitar hoarder, Jason is a serious collector of vintage and unique electric and acoustic guitars and amps, His daily social media posts consist of high-quality “guitar porn” videos and photos, along with his epic live streams (part solo performance, part guitar instruction, part guitar collection show-n- tell), that always entertains and informs. His audience is encouraged to interact with Sinay on his live-streams…they have provided names for his guitars, notified Sinay of rare guitars to purchase, asked gear and guitar instruction advise, given marriage proposals for a fans Mom, and have even bestowed Jason with a nickname “Soul Mender”, for appreciation of his gracious time and talents. He notes, “I love interacting with my audience daily and truly appreciate the opportunity to connect with them on a level that is even more intimate than a live club performance.” “I am truly humbled by the support and love that my followers on Facebook (@jasonsinaymusic) and Instagram (JasonSinay) provide…it keeps me going and on top of my game!” Sinay also get the opportunity to perform and connect with fans from places he has never toured such as Iran, Germany, Russia & South America. “This is completely like starting over. It’s fresh and new to me, and I just have a lot of energy around it.”
In the ever-changing landscape of the music industry, with easier accessibility to digital music streaming and downloads, Sinay wants to provide new music to his audience as often as possible. Jason has adopted a new music release strategy and will distribute singles rather than an entire album. He also has a new approach to creating his music, that will be more organic, “I’m going into the studio only with ideas or riffs and will write and record new songs that will be more inspired by the moment…from writing the songs one at time, along with his long-time producer & collaborator Martin Pradler. They will play all the instruments, record and mix each song, in the matter of a few days. “I hope this new creative process will fully capture where I am as an artist today.” He will initially release these free singles every other month, available exclusively on his official website www.jasonsinay.com.