BOY HOWDY was nominated for OUTMUSIC's Award: "OUTSTANDING NEW RECORDING, MALE". (well, I AM, ain't I?)
"It's a joy, an absolute joy from the opening chords of the opening song it leaps out of the speakers. Fine songwriting, fine performances all fired with an unignorable joie de vivre and lifeaffirming exhuberance. Without hesitation I warmly recommend a recent discovery from my 6 Music Evening Sequence show: JAY SPEARS. I like Jay's album "Boy Howdy" so much that if you buy it from his website and don't agree, you can post it on to me at PO BOX 3185 London SW18 3JG and I'll refund your money personally!"
Tom Robinson, BBC6
"What's Not To Like?"
If Leonard Cohen had a younger, gay brother with a polar opposite worldview of his older, gloomier big bro, an ear for melodies, an arch and witty way with a lyric and a mean-fingerpickin', folk/rock style on guitars, and let him run loose in the studio, BOY HOWDY would be the end result! Catchy love songs about ex-boyfriends and dating new ones? Who'da THUNK??? But there's so much more to this album than just that. Nope, Jay is no Pavarotti, but with songs this good, you'll be paying much more attention to the self-effacing wit and heartfelt touches he applies; from the jaunty "MY RAY" and the infectious call-and-response/jockboy vibe of "I LIKE MIKE", to the surprisingly touching message behind "POSITIVE," and the sad sweetness of "LULLABY FOR BEA," and the hopefulness of "YOU WILL LOVE AGAIN." No matter who you are and who you happen to be in love (or lust) with right at this moment, one listen to Jay's debut and the only thing you'll be asking yourself about this guy is "What's Not To Like?"
By dcscribe (Arlington, VA.)
The Other Spears
No relation to that other blond bombshell known as Britney, Los Angeles singer-songwriter JAY SPEARS IS JUST THE KIND OF TROUBADOR THAT THE GAY WORLD NEEDS. The comical slice-of-life pieces on Spears' acclaimed debut, "Boy Howdy", perfectly capture his easygoing West Coast sensibility, all the while making nods to the men he's loved and sometimes lost.
But don't think that these are merely sentimental romantic numbers. The classic guy's guy, Spears writes and sings from a jockish, happy-go-lucky perspective, though he's also skeptical about the macho-man mentality.
"My Ray" is the first in a string of tunes named after those special men whom Spears has encountered. Against a '50s doo-wop backdrop, he aims his arrow for the heart of a "big strong chango" in a love song that's like no other. The chanting sports anthem "I Like Mike" finds a hunky teammate at the center of Spears' affections, while "Cryin' over Brian" follows the path of a heartbreaking heartthrob right to Jay's bed.
Spears' musings aren't always so lighthearted, though. "Positive" takes a sobering look at how HIV status can affect potential relationships. Despite its honest resolution ("So now we're pals and I tell you no lie/ I hope he finds a beautiful positive guy"), the track has caused some controversy among listeners. Such is the dilemma of difficult themes that deal with volatile emotions, and Spears triumphs by inviting people to think about the issues in a way that's moving and real. (9 out of 10)
Jason Roush Aug 28 BAY WINDOWS, "New England's Largest Gay & Lesbian Newspaper"
NOT SINCE, MAYBE, RANDY NEWMAN, HAVE I HEARD A BODY OF WORK SO PACKED WITH UNIQUE SONGS. You certainly have a refreshing and knowing view on the world... and the talent to express it. And I'm amazed at the ease and fun with which you write about same sex love. It's usually treated as such a heavy thing. My personal favorite by far is "Nothin'". It's wonderful. And "I Like Mike" almost killed me when I started laughing out loud during a press at the gym (I brought along my Walkman that day).
Again, you've got an amazing mind. Thanks for letting us all inside it. -- MITCH GALLOB, Streeter Music
I was one of the judges in Out Song Of The Year and YOUR WORK IS IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT LEAGUE FROM EVERYTHING ELSE I HEARD.
You have a wonderful sureness of touch: lines like "He's got an attitude bordering on bratitude, give the boy some latitude" or "I just dropped my wallet in the toilet" are as great as anything by Dylan or Eminem. In conception and execution your tracks had such huge exhuberance, originality and sheer joie de vivre I was grinning all over my face with enjoyment.
I present a new music show on 6 Music for BBC Digital Radio three hours a night, four nights a week. I could play a song of yours right alongside The Strokes or Busta Rhymes or Ani Di Franco without a word of explanation - and get listener e-mails clamouring to know who the hell you are.
In fact, as soon as your CD arrives I intend to.
All the best -- TOM ROBINSON
A Los Angeles singer/songwriter whose tongue is most definitely in cheek when it's not occupied with other pursuits, Jay Spears offers a unique, thoroughly delightful, and more than occasionally wry take on life. His brash presentation and go get 'em lyrics definitely push this disc to the top of the chart.
It's hard to pick favorites. "I Like Mike" ("What's not to like? He's the best darn thing to come down the pike") is more of a chant than a song, with a peanut gallery chorus echoing phrases such as "He's always playing hardball, that's my Mike". If Mike's got "an attitude bordering on brattitude," it reflects Spears' own, which adds to the fun. "Positive" is one of the finest songs about the stickiness of status disclosure yet written, while "You Will Love Again" and "Lullaby for Bea" are disarmingly tender. Ending with "Oh Hell!" and "House on Fire" (a great big beef-bo caught my eye, And soon the sparks began to fly), Boy Howdy is a cheering affirmation of gay love.
-- JASON VICTOR SERINUS (The New York Blade, North Carolina's Q-Notes, The Washington Blade, The Southern Voice, San Diego Update, The Gay Outlook)
ANOTHER NEW REVIEW!!!
From the beginning, you know this is different: irreverent, funny, in-your-face, and downright personal. Jay Spears hits many marks with his over-the-top lyrics and catchy-camp musical style. Dealing with everyday themes, some which are rarely discussed with any honesty, Spears shows us we can face the music so to speak and still maintain a sense of humor. Overall the entire CD is a rare listen, filled with good times and thought-provoking lyrics. Hmmm, can we really think and have fun at the same time??? You can when Jay Spears is guiding the train. -- LEN ROGERS, StoneWall Society
I receive an abundance of CDs and every once in a while, one stands out from the rest. Jay Spears sounds like a cross between Mark Weigle and Tom Yore on his album Boy Howdy (www.jayspears.com). "I Like Mike" is a quirky number about a baseball player boyfriend, the catchy "I'm Gonna Fall In Love" borders on silly, but is saved by the sincerity of Spears' delivery, and "You Will Love Again," sung by Annie Combs (with backing vocals by Spears), is the disc's best song. -- GREGG SHAPIRO, Windy City Times (Chicago)