Bluejay Playing a Trio of South Florida Shows

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South Florida

native (and Tallahassee resident) Jay Thomas will be touring the old stomping grounds this month

at several venues across Broward. Though his performing moniker Bluejay refers

specifically to Thomas and the songs he writes, his recordings and

performances often feature a revolving cast of talented friends -- not

unlike the concept behind Conor Oberst's Bright Eyes. This time around, Jay is accompanied by cellist Oscar

Quesada and vocalist (and doppelgänger) Joelle Louise, both of

whom are featured heavily on Bluejay's debut record, Goblins, which you

can download free here.

Thomas' songs are classically influenced Lillith Fair-style folk-pop

but with better singing and the tightest

vocal harmonies you are likely to hear anywhere this year.

Jay Thomas' lyrics are witty, reflexive, and imagery-driven and tell the stories of characters ranging from classical mythology ("Mercury," the messenger god), pop culture (Andy

Warhol and Marilyn Monroe make an appearance in "Bruisey Brookie"), even

from B-list slasher flicks (Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers come to

"get you" in "Boogeyman"). Often, they're also about his friends. On this

subject, Jay says, "I write directly about my friends. The names of the

people in the songs, those are the names of the people I know. I don't

know how other songwriters do this, but I don't think it would really

seem like you were singing about that person if you weren't using their

real name. Maybe they use middle names, but Latin boys don't have middle

names, so I don't get to use those very often."

Bluejay has perhaps cornered a new market with a unique blend of catchy

pop that is highly accessible but alludes to something deeper and

darker: the shadowy demons that lurk in such common settings as a

friend's videogame controller. It's the tales of the absurd within the

domestic. Thomas spends his time making jokes and references that you're

not likely to catch till the second or third time around, spinning

myths, winking at gender roles, and subduing you like a snake charmer

with his syrupy sweet melodies. But even at its most sentimental, it is

never without irony.

Thomas is a true male folk Diva, and yes, that D was capitalized on

purpose. He's a highly theatrical performer whose songs will be stuck in your

head for weeks.

With three performances in South Florida over the next few weeks, there's no excuse to miss this truly dynamic act.

Bluejay. With EOS, Homebody, and OTOO. 9 p.m. Saturday, August 13, at 7 Music and Ale, 3809 Powerline Road, Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $5.

Bluejay. With Travalonia. 10 p.m. Thursday, August 18, at PRL, 1904 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. No cover.

Bluejay. With EOS. 9:30 p.m. Saturday, August 20, at Stage 84 Music Café, 9118 W State Road 84, Davie. No cover.

Follow County Grind on Facebook and Twitter: @CountyGrind

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