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Boy with a Fish

Swirling, driving alt-rock by members of The Horse Flies and Plastic Nebraska -- band members have major label history; have toured and recorded with Natalie Merchant; have had music used by MTV, Fiery Furnaces, Oliver Stone, and others; have done scores for award-winning feature films & TV documentaries; and more...

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). The have two releases, "Birds Fly Backwards" and "I Put My Tongue on the Window", which is available in both CD and vinyl LP. Both are on Left Ear. Basic tracks for "Tongue" were recorded by Grammy award-winning engineer, Will Russell, at Electric Wilburland in Newfield, NY; overdubs were done in a few home studios; and the album was mixed by Pat Dillett (David Byrne, Brian Eno, They Might Be Giants, The National, 3 Grammies), working together with Ron Allaire and Greg Thompson, and was mastered by Greg Calbi (Sonic Youth, Coldplay, Band of Horses, Ra Ra Riot, Interpol, Iron and Wine, Fleet Foxes, Shearwater, Grizzly Bear, etc.). Additional musicians on this release are: Erik Della Penna (guitar and lap steel -- of Natalie Merchant's band), Brian Wilson (percussion -- drummer in Jamie Lidell's band), Jason Shegogue (guitar and lap steel), Peter Glanville (guitar -- of Hubcap), Alex Shuhan (French horn), Ryan Zawel (trombone), and Paul Merrill (flugelhorn).

The band's releases have been played on over 300 radio stations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia.

Claus and Hyman are founding members of The Horse Flies, about whom Rolling Stone said, "A band that's earned a buzz. They churn out swirling, addictive songs, blending tradition with invention." Hansen and Olsa are now members of The Horse Flies, too.

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 many other publications. They've also played many 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; The Telluride Festival, and more.

Claus and Hyman have toured a bunch in the U.S., Canada, and Europe and have composed music for six feature films (starring such actors as Martin Sheen, Kris Kristofferson, Bruce Dern, Genevieve Bujold, Rip Torn, and Michael J. Fox) and a number of 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.

Hyman has toured and recorded with Natalie Merchant, including her newest album, Leave Your Sleep. Judy toured the U.S. and England with Merchant July - September, 2010. Also, one of Claus' songs, "Sally Ann," is the opening track on Merchant's CD, The House Carpenter's Daughter, and Merchant and band (including Hyman) performed the song on the David Letterman Show, August 2004. This song is also included on Merchant's "Retrospective" collection. In addition, Hyman is the subject of the cover article in the Fall 2004 issue of Fiddler Magazine, and is featured in Electronic Musician, June 2010.

Rick Hansen and Jay Olsa are also members of Plastic Nebraska, a notable Ithaca band reviewers have called "exotic," "entrancing," "hypnotic," and "inventive." Ryan Cady has played in Hubcap, another excellent Ithaca band, that critics have described as "rich" and "dynamic," with references to Uncle Tupelo and Neil Young.

Birds Fly Backwards, the band's first release, was recorded before Cady joined the band. Drums and percussion on the CD are played by Ben Wittman, a longtime friend who has played with Laurie Anderson, Paul Simon, Paula Cole, Erasure, Don Byron, Solas, Tribe, and many others. Additional musicians on that CD are: Erik Della Penna (guitar) and Elizabeth Steen (organ and Wurlitzer) of Natalie Merchant's band; Robby Aceto (guitar) formerly of Tom Tom Club; and Billy Coté (guitar) formerly of Madder Rose and Saint Low.