From the collegetown of Ithaca, NY, Boy with a Fish is: Jeff Claus (guitar and vocals), Judy Hyman (electric violin and vocals), Rick Hansen (moog, organ, accordion), Jay Olsa (bass), and Ryan Cady (drums).
Their two releases, I Put My Tongue on the Window, and Birds Fly Backwards (from your mouth), are on Left Ear Records, and are available at CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes, and more.
Claus, the main songwriter and singer in the band, grew up in a small town in rural Illinois, where it's flat as a table, and corn, soybeans and silos dominate the endless horizon. His mother bought him his first guitar from the only music store in town, paying for it in small, monthly installments. Hyman grew up in New York City and suburban New Jersey, and was steeped early in a rich combination of classical violin, urban soul, and R&B. She now also loves north African, middle eastern, and traditional American fiddle music. The two met in college in Philadelphia and are happy they've been married longer than they've been apart. They're founding members of the alt-folk-rock band, The Horse Flies, about whom Rolling Stone has written, "A band that's earned a buzz. They churn out swirling, addictive songs, blending tradition with invention."
Hansen and Olsa, members of The Horse Flies now, too, grew up in Johnson City, NY, played in bands together in high school, and, eventually, moved to Ithaca in the 90's. They're founding members of the alt-rock band, Plastic Nebraska. Cady came to Ithaca to go to college, and we're all glad he did.
The Horse Flies have recorded 8 albums, two on a major label. They've been featured on MTV, World Cafe, All Things Considered, eTown, Prairie Home Companion, and Mountain Stage, and they've been written about in Rolling Stone, Musician Magazine, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Guardian (of London), and other publications. They've also played major festivals in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including New York City's Central Park Summerstage; Brooklyn Academy's New Music America; Berlin's New Music Festival; Vienna's Big Beat Festival; the WOMAD Festival, the National Folklife Festival at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC; Philadelphia Folk Festival; The Telluride Festival, and more.
Claus and Hyman have toured with the Flies in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, and have composed music for eight feature films (starring such actors as Bruce Dern, Martin Sheen, Kris Kristofferson, Jacqueline Bisset, Genevieve Bujold, Rip Torn, Michael J. Fox, and Jerry O'Connell) and for numerous nationally broadcast television documentaries. Critics have referred to Talking Heads/David Byrne, Neil Young, Counting Crows, REM, and Freedy Johnston to describe Claus' songs and singing. His music has been used by Natalie Merchant, film director Oliver Stone in Any Given Sunday, Rock the Vote on MTV, and the band Fiery Furnaces. Claus has also been featured in an article in Acoustic Guitar Magazine, October, 2000.
Judy's toured and recorded with Natalie Merchant (The House Carpenter's Daughter and Leave Your Sleep). One of Jeff's songs, "Sally Ann," is the opening track on Merchant's album, The House Carpenter's Daughter, and Merchant and band (including Judy) performed the song on Late Night with David Letterman while touring in support of that release. That song's also included on Merchant's Retrospective collection. In addition, Judy's the subject of a cover article in Fiddle Magazine, Fall 2004; has been written about in Fiddler Magazine, Summer 2013; is included in Fiddler Magazine's 2014 20th anniversary book and CD with 20 of their favorite fiddlers; and is featured in Electronic Musician, June 2010, for her film composing, which has included an Emmy award.
Birds Fly Backwards and I Put My Tongue on the Window have been played on over 325 radio stations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia.