Drive-By Truckers’ Jay Gonzalez shares new video; album out

Photo Credit: Jason Thrasher



Acclaimed musician, singer, and songwriter Jay Gonzalez is excited to release his new record BACK TO THE HIVE today alongside a video for album highlight “Trampoline.” The video finds Jay literally as bouncy as the song’s hooky pop momentum, driven by head-bobbing, “Mr. Blue Sky”-esque piano chords. Directed and shot in Athens, GA, by John Britt, the video also features Jeff Griggs, one of the musicians on BACK TO THE HIVE. And a stuffed squirrel. Watch the video HERE, and listen to/purchase the album HERE.

“Writing “Trampoline” was my attempt at writing a song from the perspective of a partner who’s tough, unabashedly honest and direct (sometimes to the point of unwittingly hurting feelings) assuring their partner that they’ll always be there for them and (despite their tough exterior) still need to hear those three words every once in a while to reassure them that all is ok,” Gonzalez says.

We shot the video in a soccer field behind our neighborhood’s elementary school,“he continues. “3 middle aged guys carrying ladders and oversized cardboard torsos and legs and setting up tripods and flying drones. Forty something year old Athens, GA townies skateboarding and colliding into each other- one guy throwing stuffed squirrels at the other’s chest as hard as possible (while sometimes landing a bit south), all the while practicing disc golf throws in between takes. The same thing we’ve done for the last several videos over the last 15 years- the same thing we’ll (hopefully) do for the next 15 years. Except with less skateboarding and climbing trees. Hopefully.

Gonzalez, perhaps best known for his role as guitarist/keyboard player with the mighty Drive-By Truckers, recently shared “Crying Through the Wall”, an exclusive duet with 2x Tony Award singer/actor Michael Cerveris (Tommy, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Fun Home and Assassins). The Cerveris version of the song is exclusive to this video; he is not featured on the original version that appears on the album. Watch the video HERE, and listen to the album version of the track HERE.

Gonzalez announced BACK TO THE HIVE last month with the official video for “(I Wanna) Hold You,” streaming now via YouTube.

A self-professed “sucker for short pop songs filled with hooks and devoid of filler,” Gonzalez’s second full-length solo album, BACK TO THE HIVE sees the multi-talented artist continuing to push power pop into new shapes, reimagining the sound of classic A.M. radio through his own kaleidoscopic approach.

Recorded in his hometown of Athens, GA by longtime collaborator Chris Grehan, the album sees Gonzalez joined by a number of old friends including drummer Joe Rowe (The Glands) and former Drive-by Truckers Matt Lane (drums) and John Neff (pedal steel guitar) on a collection of strikingly diverse songs. From the straight-ahead pop of “(I Wanna) Hold You” and the buoyant “Trampoline” to the emotional Robin Gibb tribute, “Crying Through The Wall,” BACK TO THE HIVE is both invigorating and inventive, imbued with adventurous arrangements, timeless songwriting, and a lifetime of pop passion.

Jay Gonzalez first arrived in Athens, GA from his native Westchester County, NY more than two decades ago. Together with his good friend and bandmate Chris Grehan, he set to work experimenting with his own brand of power pop while also playing in such esteemed local outfits like The Possibilities. Gonzalez officially joined Drive-By Truckers in 2008, first as keyboard player and later taking up the mantle of guitarist in the groundbreaking band. 2011 saw the release of Gonzalez’s first solo album, MESS OF HAPPINESS, of which PopMatters raved, “Gonzalez’s approach unmistakably evokes similarly restless classics of early ‘70s shut-in singer-songwriting, like Todd Rundgren’s SOMETHING/ANYTHING and Emitt Rhodes’s self-titled album, but so very few musicians pull off this style of ornate songwriting with such lightness and apparent effortlessness.”

Taking inspiration from such unified conceptual works as The Who’s “A Quick One (While He’s Away)” and The Beatles’ ABBEY ROAD side two medley, Gonzalez followed up with 2015’s THE BITTER SUITE EP, a seamless five-song opus hailed by Glide as “a pleasing listen through and through with emotional ups and downs, constant tempo changes, and a kaleidoscope of instruments and sounds performed almost exclusively by Gonzalez.”

Gonzalez was introduced to Portland, OR indie-rock supergroup Eyelids by fellow Drive-By Trucker Patterson Hood and in 2017, contributed instrumental work as special guest on the band’s acclaimed second album, OR. A series of tours – with Gonzalez backed by his crack live band, The Guilty Pleasures – followed, affirming the friendship and like-minded musical association. Indeed, 2019 saw the release of JAY GONZALEZ SINGS EYELIDS SINGS JAY GONZALEZ, a limited edition 7” single for which each artist wrote an original song for the other to perform and record.

Track List:

1. Sunspot

2. Back to the Hive

3. (I Wanna) Hold You

4. Deep Sea Diver

5. Trampoline

6. You Make It Hard (To Be Unhappy)

7. Need You Round

8. Never Felt Bad (About Feeling Good)

9. Loons on the Lake

10. Crying Through the Wall

11. Rosa







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *