Love is the subject of Jay Hitt’s songs,
be it the charming “Tracy Loves Ray” (who declare their love for one another on a freeway overpass) to the longing of missed love on “I Never Touched Her”.
Hitt’s lively and uptempo acoustic-centered songs have a radio friendly sound and a positively uplifting feel.
His clean, pure voice carries just the right amount of emotion to make each song believable, and the unintrusive instrumental backing works perfectly to support the lyrics and melody.
- Jim Lee
Folk and World Music Magazine
Tracy Loves Ray
Somewhere in Ohio, there’s an overpass marked with graffiti. It declares, “TRACY LOVES RAY”. The first few times they see it, most folks probably wonder if there isn’t a story hidden there, but over time they come to accept it as part of the landscape. Probably a couple of love-crazed kids who went their separate ways and no longer admit to knowing each other. Who’s to say?
Jay Hitt opens his new collection of songs by giving life to Tracy and Ray. They meet, and the spark of love is kindled, but who really believes in love these days? She follows the call of her career. Time and distance do their dirty work. But people who dare to love in Jay Hitt’s world are ultimately rewarded. As in a fairy tale, his narrator can barely suppress a smile. You know that eventually the protagonists will live happily ever after, but the real winners are the romantics who dare to believe in love.
Jay’s songs are built around melody and acoustic guitar, and nothing in the production clutters or obscures. Percussion, harmony, counterpoint melody, subtle orchestration- the listener feels the effect without being distracted by the effect, a rare achievement in this age of recording gadgetry. Songs range from sweeping cinematic epics to simple love songs celebrating family values.
Jay Hitt has a lovely singing voice. He hits the high notes effortlessly but manages to keep the melodies within the range of the average listener who might wish to sing along. The tunes are instantly likeable and become downright infectious with repetition. The writing is impeccable. The lyrics roll off the tongue without a stray syllable in the collection. Given the chance to be heard, Gentle Persuader could become a very popular disc.
- Robert Wagner
Calliope Music News & Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Through The Window
Jay Hitt displays his versatility in both the vocal and instrumental arrangements found on this newest CD “Through the Window”. He continues to capture the listener through time inspired lyrics all the while wrapping a musical accompaniment around his songs that can range from one of pure country to a Broadway classic. He is an accomplished solo acoustic musician who is joined on several selections by fellow artists playing the upright bass, banjo, piano and mandolin.
His style can be lighthearted and humorous, as when he sings of his adventurous pony named “Patches” in the song “Patches’ Waltz”; or more complex and contemplative as he remembers growing up and the transitions of life one journeys through as in the title song of the CD. The sheer fun and imaginative nature of Jay’s abilities resulted in one of his most creative selections called “I’m Gonna Get Cloned” which becomes a lighthearted spoof on the scientific possibility of cloning.
Jay continues to enjoin his listeners in his stories and songs in a way that blends entertainment with emotion. He can make us laugh, cry or even start dancing! This CD is quite possibly his best yet!
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette
The Bright Extraordinary Day
This (The Bright Extraordinary Day) is Jay Hitt’s most eclectic CD to date. It veers into country, both up tempo (“Mary, Will You Be Mine?”) and bouncy and melodic (“Little Bit of Love”.) It’s got an electric rocker, (“Swallowing a Stone”), a Mary Chapin Carpenter cover, (”What if We went to Italy”), the peppy title track, with flute and accordion work by Kelly Armor. It’s got the tender, fragile “Angela’s Eyes” and a humorous story that introduces “Men Carry Stuff”, a song about how men jump whenever it’s time to move a chair or couch. The latter cut, recorded live, shows off Hitt’s easygoing stage demeanor. Fans will appreciate his uncluttered and accomplished acoustic- driven tunes. He writes with a poet’s eye whether spinning lovelorn narratives like “ Mary, Will You Be Mine?” heartfelt odes like “ Love Survives” (a superb duet with Jaime Kibler) or nostalgic, wistful reveries like “Twenty Five Years Ago”.
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette