Jason Molin, or J, is a pop songwriter who shows off poetic lyrics with a sophisticated variety of styles. He rocks jazz, folk, gospel, or funk, and holds it all together with his smooth tenor and honest approach. J's powerful lyrics and memorable melodies set him apart from imitators. His rich lines rise above interesting arrangements. J is the thinking people's rock star-and an antidote for a culture of disposable songs. J released his first album, "J," in 2005. It focusses on songwriting and storytelling, showcasing a diverse mix of influences. The opening track, "Room 304," is a pulsing samba romance told in Tom Waits technicolor. "Let Me Go Walkin' With You" is a jazz song worthy of Billy Holiday, finger-picked on an acoustic guitar. In "Jesus Rode a Bike," J wonders "What kind of car would Jesus drive?" as the guitar rocks and a trumpet trills tight lines. The final song on the album, "Sunday Morn," pictures a stroll among Dublin street performers with wordplay as cinematic and haunting as Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." As J performs his debut album across Texas, he plans an East Coast release in the spring and a West Coast launch in summer. The solo trumpet work found on the CD is blossoming into a horn section that mixes soul and dub influence into his jazzy sound. J grew up in Washington, D.C., then went off to New York University where he studied philosophy, wrote songs, and performed on Bleeker Street at the Village Gate. After a year abroad in Dublin, Ireland, writing more songs and singing in an Anglican choir, J returned to D.C. and played coffee shops, getting a major start at Iota and the 9:30 Club. A decade ago, J headed south to Austin, where he formed a trio and performed regularly at Ruta Maya, the Cactus Café, and many other venues. J performs regularly with diverse combos of drums, bass, backup singers, horns, and DJs.
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