During a BBQ with Paul Bessone and Edith Gaudy, Jay took out his guitar and sang “Goodnight Irene”. An amateur film was made that immortalized the moment. After having watched the movie the desire to record an album caught on and grew. Every time they got together, usually over a hearty meal, they came back to the subject…
It was at the “Passage du Nord-Ouest”, mid-1990, that Jay first met Paul. Maybe a couple of hours before The Opposition concert or was it The Ukrainians or it could have been just before a good supper at the Bouillon Chartier.
Living in Saint Denis, just behind the Porte de Clignancourt Flea Market, Jay, together with a team of fellow travelers put together JAY & THE COOKS in 2011. A first album was finished in 2013.
“Our friend Jay Ryan has character! A story to tell! Let’s make a record together!”… Five years have gone by between that simple idea and the making of the album DUTCH OVEN. First of all Jay had to get back into playing. He didn’t pick up the bass this time but the guitar and singing like he knows how to do with small groups of friends, then we had to find a repertoire that could get the closest to his life, the authenticity and the warmth that we wanted to share with others.
In 2015, Jay realize I’M HUNGRY. The second album is a meeting between Johnny Cash and the Stray Cats, overlooked by Lou Reed. Produced by a true Rockabilly, Country and Blues expert. Marco Di Maggio makes good use of the knowledge he gained while working with Terry Williams (Dire Straits), Slim Jim Phantom or Little Richard,…
In 2018, Jay present UP THE MISSISSIPPI. Blues, Rock, Country, Folk… this third album is real cake walk through North American music… à la sauce de Jay And The Cooks ! Most compositions are original, no-frill texts, stories about society and some timeless hits.
In 2019, BARRY «THE FISH» MELTON MEETS JAY AND THE COOKS with LIVE AT LA DAME DE CANTON, a fabulous recorded concert to celebrate the Woodstock festival with an authentic Rock and Blues show.
At the end of 2020, Jay realize LE COEUR SEC : a full French album with original songs except one cover by Serge Gainsbourg. In this album, Jay takes a look at society through the eyes of an American that has lived for more than 30 years in France, who reads the New York Times and Le Parisien every day, All the songs tell stories inspired by real life stories or pretty close to reality.
In 2022, Jay and the Cooks is back with DRIED UP DREAMS, entirely in English this time. The idea for the album came about because Jay Ryan wanted to talk about his experience as an immigrant. The sexagenarians don’t beat around the bush: they express themselves loud and strong without digression. Rock, Blues, Americana and Protest-songs are recorded on analog vintage equipment. Same music as LE COEUR SEC but different lyrics.
At the end of the 60’s Jay played the trombone in the streets of Chicago in the High School Marching Band. In 1972 it was at “Indiana University”, where he avoided the draw to be sent to Vietnam and discovered the bass, the blues, and campus life…
In the mid-70’s he went off to Austin and became a member of the worst group in town… but the first group to play in the legendary Continental Club. He was a regular at Antone’s Blues Club where he listened to The Fabulous Thunderbirds every Thursday night.
In the middle of the Punk scene, we find him in New York for three years. He frequented CBGB’s and saw Lou Reed, Richard Hell… he lived in the “Lower East Side” and got by as he could as a waiter and taxi driver.
In 1980, he sold his bass to buy an airplane ticket and discovered the South of France “Provence”. He also discovered French Cuisine and the cuisine of “Chez Ernest” where he became a cook while at the same time putting together a blues band with the celebrated caterer from Cannes.
From the mid-80’s to 1999 Jay devoted all his time to music. We could find him along side Yohan Asherton, Les Froggies, Jesse Garon, Jacno, Paris Slim, or in concert with Elliot Murphy as well as the manager bass player of the Transcontinental Cowboys.
He got back to Austin as a tour manager with Erick Marchand and Donnisulana and then crisscrossed North America again with D’Gary. Back in Paris he co-founded the record shop and label Cinq Planetes. After all that Jay dedicated himself to helping business managers and staff improve their English while at the same time rediscovering Bob Dylan, his Irish origins, new recipes and in the end the desire to play again.
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