Ohio musician Jay Joyce played with bands like In Pursuit and Iodine in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but in the 21st century, he’s reached enormous success as a producer and songwriter for country music. Having recorded all five of Eric Church’s studio albums, Joyce has cultivated a sound that’s both polished and homemade, with warm acoustic textures and a reverb-soaked ambience that recalls the work of Daniel Lanois. Church’s hits have ranged from the poignant, piano-driven “Springsteen” and the thunderous power ballad “Give Me Back My Hometown” to the raging celebration of “Drink In My Hand,” and the combination of Church’s ambitious songwriting and Joyce’s lively production has yielded a string of platinum plaques.
After his success with Church, Jay Joyce was in high demand in Nashville, producing chart-topping singles for Carrie Underwood and Zac Brown Band. He’s put his stamp on everything from the soulful groove of Thomas Rhett’s “Make Me Wanna” to the doo-wop balladry of Little Big Town’s crossover hit “Girl Crush.” In 2011, he produced one of country legend Emmylou Harris’ most successful albums, Hard Bargain, and in 2015, Joyce was nominated for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical, at the GRAMMYⓇs—the only country producer to appear in the category in recent years.
But Joyce’s rock roots and skill at capturing a live-band feel have also brought a wide range of clientele from outside of country music. Early in his career, he produced a solo album by Crowded House frontman Tim Finn, and he produced Kentucky alt-rock band Cage the Elephant’s platinum 2009 self-titled debut, as well as albums for garage punk band FIDLAR, and hard rock revivalists Halestorm. This playlist lets you appreciate the sheer breadth of his work.