Musician and songwriter Jay Pollmann has a unique way to describe his sound: he calls it “foot stompin’ rootsy blues.”

Raised in Cayuga, a small town just outside of Hamilton, Ontario, the multi-instrumentalist creates his musical signature through the use of his acoustic guitar, brass slide, harmonicas, tambourine and plenty of foot stomping.

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“You basically have to brand yourself in the business,” he told Amplify. “The blues has a lot of players doing the same thing. Calling my music foot stompin’ rootsy blues leaves me some wiggle room so I don’t always have to do the same thing. And that’s what my sound is right now, so I thought it was fitting and it was something different and unique.”

Pollmann spent the last ten years with dirt rock trio GRUVE, touring Canada and the United States and releasing four well-received albums before launching his solo career in 2013 and his solo album Head In The Clouds, produced by Canadian pedal steel legend Aaron Goldstein (Candle Recording, Toronto).

“I started like a lot of blues players do,” he said. “I was sitting and kind of contained to the drum stool and I felt like I had more of a show in me so I started standing and stomping and playing the harmonica, all that kind of stuff. I brought a kick drum up in front of me too, so now I play kick drum a portion of the set.”

His new album was recorded on vintage analog recording gear, and the album’s first single “Steerin’ With My Knees” was recorded in one take.

“We recorded to tape, analog, like the good old days. It gets that rough-around-the-edges, kind of gritty feel and sound to the songs, which is something we really were going for,” he said. “One of the reasons ‘Steerin’ With My Knees,’ was one take was because the other guys were done after stomping and clapping for three minutes straight, so we just stuck with the first one.” 

Jay will play a special release show on Friday, January 13, at The Baltimore House in Hamilton with The Vaudevillian and Mark Wilson. This is a 19+ event and doors open at 9 pm.

“Hamilton has a really, really good thing going on right now and we’re churning out some really, really great artists and some bands,” he said. “Hamilton is kind of happening right now.”

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Dave Brooks

Founder & Executive Editor at Amplify Media
Dave Brooks has over 15 years experience as a writer, including eight years as the Managing Editor of Venues Today. He started Amplify in 2014 to give the industry its own voice and turn up the volume on live entertainment.
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