(TJay is) at the same place in (his) career that Dave Matthews was when he recorded ‘Remember Two Things’.!
– Steve Lillywhite, Producer (Dave Matthews Band, U2, Phish, Counting Crows, Jason Mraz, Matchbox 20)
TJay is a talented artist whose passion for music and performing truly shines through his CD called Pivot. If I were to classify his type of music I would have to say it is a combination of Soft Rock, Country, and Blues. Surely, these three types of music do not always go hand in hand but TJay’s diversity is one of his strong attributes. From this album, I noticed TJay seems like he could really get crowds rocking at a concert because of his instrumentals and you can tell he is a true singer. However, I struggled through some of the album since the instrumentals were almost too loud and he tended to trail off in songs where I just couldn’t understand him. TJay can definitely tell a great story such as in Hope You Miss Me and Landing which I loved and recommend everyone lend an ear.
– Steve Donze, 91.7 WCUR The Curve
…TJay plays a be-bop-influenced style complete with heavy syncopation and all interwoven with smooth vocal melodies ala ‘70s Doobie Brothers or Steely Dan. He played selections from his latest disc entitled Take A Seat and is probably one of the only guys around that can boast of having world renowned sax man Bill Evans on their disc… TJay has enough talent to attract the interest of this killer sax man. His CD rocks and I could imagine he can do that with a band. TJay has also played with Dave Mason and Blues Traveler (Blues Traveler has asked him out again) and we hope he returns to the area soon. It’s a nice change from the norm here.!
– The Aquarian – Asbury Park, NJ
Fantastic stuff. Great ear for a hook!!
– Mark Cooper “Coop” from 101.5 FM WPDH Coop & Tobin Morning Show.
I know. When I heard the artist’s name was TJay, I thought, “all this name is missing is ‘Killa’ at the end of it and we’ve got ourselves a bona-fide rap star.” TJay is actually the nickname of rock/blues singer Thomas Jay Kowalchuk from Westchester, New York. A smart marketing move, as I don’t think Kowalchuk would hold people’s memory as well. TJay’s new album, Take a Seat has hit the streets and is worth your attention. TJay may not own the most remarkable voice you’ve ever heard, but how many male blues singers do you know that sing like an angel? Regardless, he hits a wide range of notes that he can belt out with the best of them. TJay understands the intricacies of the blues genre and how to best appeal to its fan base, and that knowledge is expertly showcased in his album. Despite his simple stage name, TJay is one talented and multifarious artist. He fills in all of the lead and back-up vocals on Take a Seat. In addition, he supplies all of the electric and acoustic guitar components and even contributes his talent on the trumpet. Most tracks on Take a Seat offer a quicker and fuller blues sound bolstered by the work of Bill Evans. Evans provides his flair on the saxophone in four different savory aromas: soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. He composed and performed the arrangements that appear in “State Street Blues,” “Hey in Your Sleep” and “Pretend You’re Driving.” Bassist Mick Houser drops down slick bass lines on the disc with some especially notable work coming on “Hey Fool.” Rob Gueli serves as the drummer, and Jim Roberts lends his time on the organ and piano amongst other instruments. TJay decelerates for “Your Easy Eyes”, the only real slow song on the album. Surrounded by up-tempo tracks, it stands out as a genuine effort and not a forced plea to a pop oriented demographic. Careful not to forget what brought him to the blues festival, TJay keeps the rest of the disc lively with plenty of attitude. “Take a Seat,” “Grady on the Run” and “My Blues” are among the highlights of the album, full of verve and bluesy guitar riffs. Unfortunately, TJay must compete with the likes of Jason Mraz, John Mayer, and countless other musicians who ride the line between blues, rock, and pop. His style may not be as polished as those artists, but he’s just as fun. TJay will be making appearances across the great state of New York all summer long, so visit his MySpace page if you want to see him live. To give your iPod a healthy and worthwhile dose of the blues, snag yourself a digital copy of TJay’s Take a Seat on the illustrious iTunes.!
– College News
One of freshest new sounds I have had the pleasure to hear in quite some time. TJay is without a doubt an artist to keep an eye on, and an ear to. His latest studio recording, State Street Blues, even in the unmixed stage demonstrates the versatility of his guitar style and vocal range. The song opens with a repetitious, melodic and tasteful groove that gets your head bouncing. Funky bass licks and snappy drum rim shots hold your interest. Following some melodic changes, catchy hooks, and Hammond pad chords, the music drops you off after a complete stop in some funky place, and then keeps the groove going. This is one of my favorite tunes and maybe yours too. Nothing beats some genuine creativity in the new music scene.!
– Musicians and Bands – Philadelphia, PA
TJay Kowalchuk took the stage with an immense presence before even opening his mouth to sing. TJay stands well over 6 feet and looks every bit the part of the baseball scholarship athlete he was at the University of Binghamton. Before he takes his first commanding strum on the guitar, you find yourself doubting that he will be as good as you’ve heard, solely based on preconceived notions of handsome athletes and music. But, the instant TJay started to play, all negative thoughts dispersed and amazement set in. His talent easily matched his massive amounts of energy and showmanship. Besides his patent guitar mastery, TJay has an impressive vocal sensibility, singing high falsetto notes and belting powerful, dynamic phrasing. The final piece of the ready-to-be-famous- package that is TJay, is his extremely literate and insightful gift for lyrics and his jazz- influenced, yet still mainstream sound. There is no doubt that this talented young artist, who plays frequent local gigs, will break through to the big time. TJay commented on his Coffee House audience, “ It’s great to play on any stage where the audience is almost as much into it as the performer!” That is saying volumes, considering T.Jay couldn’t possible be more infatuated with performing as he is.!
– Citizen News – New Fairfield, CT