Beaches-based singer-songwriter performs a couple Gulf-and-Western style ballads
Jacksonville Beach-based singer and guitarist Landon Gay is a true saltwater cowboy. And therein may lie secret to the unique Americana sauce he’s injected into the four singles he’s released under the moniker Howdy, which have collectively racked up more than three-quarters-of-a-million plays on Spotify. Indeed, embedded in Howdy’s lofi, minimalist ballads is a palpable authenticity — in the pace and presentation of the work as a genuine reflection of the artist.
In part, Gay’s musical journey provides a filter through which to hear his tunes. After a short stint in Nashville — a music city famously teeming with talent, and perhaps even more so with ambition — Gay’s found his voice in Jacksonville, specifically at the Beaches, where the area’s natural beauty provides no shortage of muses and aspirations tends to be a function of island time.
The surprising popularity of his music on streaming services, the demands of a working musician — he’s taking it all in stride. “Ah hell, I can’t complain / Been pretty well fed, pretty well paid,” Gay sings on “El Paso,” sounding content on an otherwise pining Gulf-and-Western-tinged ballad.
And though we dragged Gay from the beach to Studio 4 during a recent run of quality surf, he lobbed no complaints, performing a couple tunes for us including “El Paso” and the newly released “Hard Feelings.” Gay also opened up about his approach to songwriting and how, until relatively recently, he didn’t think he could sing.
You can hear Howdy other Jax artists, as well as the best new music from regional, national and international artists on The Independent 89.9 HD4.