Jay Walker & the Misdemeanors
There is no denying that Jay Walker and the Misdemeanors love what they do - making music. Attempting to express this in a concise, verbal manner seems a daunting, if not impossible, task. Jay Walker and the Misdemeanors prefer to do it with their smooth sound, optimistic aura, and energetic on-stage presence. A soulful concoction of alternative rock sounds with funk influenced booty shakin' grooves, this group thrives both in the studio and on stage. Initially formed in the winter of 2006 by brothers Ian and Michael Reynolds, the dynamic South African duo decided to try their hand at turning their funky midnight basement groove sessions into something more tangible. With Ian on bass and Michael on guitar, the brothers turned to schoolmate Brendan Troy to complete their rhythm section, and Jay Walker to provide lead vocals (and fodder for a clever band name.) The freshly developed ensemble made time for practicing between their rigorous school and co-curricular activities. Each member of the band has been heavily involved in sports, academic clubs, theatre, or all of the above. With a state champion and national runner-up competitive public speaker, a dual activity captain, a 1st chair cellist in the Greater Twin Cities Youth Orchestra Philharmonic orchestra, and a National Merit Scholar, the group's musical achievements are matched only by their excellence in academics and co-curricular activities. The group's live debut took place only a few months after their formation. They were selected to play at their high school's prom grand march, with a staggering 2,500 member audience. In the following months, the group continued playing shows at their school. They next made their mark playing graduation parties during the summer, and through this gained a surprising amount of exposure and a substantial following. Soon enough, the ambitious quartet put together a quick and dirty basement album. 'Quick' because they used borrowed equipment and had to return it within a day, and 'dirty' because it was mixed by Jay and Brendan (both of whom have a good ear, but ultimately had no idea how to use the mixing board.) Despite these apparent downfalls, the home-duplicated album, entitled Petty Crimes and Funky Rhymes, was a miraculous success. Circulating over 300 copies, it was not entirely uncommon to hear their music being played in classrooms, on iPods, and even over Eagan High School's public address system. A buzz was certainly generated, and it only kept growing from there. Within a month of it's October release, popular radio DJ JP the Radio Slave of Drive 105 FM soon found himself with a copy, and he was impressed. The local icon made an appearance at a show they played at the Eagan Community Center, and afterward expressed his genuine interest in what they were trying to do with their music. He even gave them a few pointers and directed them to a friend of his in the professional recording business. On top of all of this, they broke an attendance record at that venue, packing in over 200 audience members. Ever since then, the group has absolutely been on fire. They humbly sport an impressive battle of the bands record, countless successful merchandise sales, and most importantly, a large, faithful, and ever growing following. Reaching an important benchmark by recording their self-titled EP professionally with Nate Giller Productions in the summer of 2007, it's only a matter of time before these promising talents begin making formidable footprints in the musical community. Ambitious, young, and good humored as each of them are in nature, one can only assume that Jay Walker and the Misdemeanors will be making massive strides in the time to come.