With a spirit, energy and diversity that are uniquely New York City, guitarist Jeff Golub will open the doors to Grand Central, his seventh solo album, on March 6th.
Golub produced most of the Narada Jazz/Blue Note Label Group collection of electric and acoustic blues, contemporary jazz, rock and pop with Steven Miller, with a few tracks produced by Rick Braun and Paul Brown.
Roaring out of the station first is “Hello Betty,” which is engineered by Golub’s cool-toned electric riffing and powered by an incendiary horn section.
Golub has a natural flare for delivering raw and honest recordings. Grand Central was primarily recorded with a live band in a New York studio by musicians Golub jams and improvises with at small, informal club gigs around the city that they do for the love of playing when they’re off the road. Golub deftly deployed a clean blues sound to his guitar that took on more of a lyrical, vocal-like quality on the new record.
The New York City dweller wrote or co-wrote nine new songs for the disc in addition to selecting a few classics to record, including Sly Stone’s “If You Want Me To Stay,” George Harrison’s “Something,” and the soulful “Ain’t No Woman,” on which saxophonist Richard Elliot shines. Other luminaries contributing were Braun (trumpet, flugelhorn), Kirk Whalum (sax), Philippe Saisse (piano), Stephen Ferrone (drums), Mitchell Foreman (keyboards) and Luis Conte (percussion).
To support the release, Golub will again be co-headlining the perennial fan-favorite “Guitars & Saxes” tour with concert dates starting in the spring that will run through summer. On the national trek, he’ll be sharing the stage with Whalum, Gerald Albright and Tim Bowman. Dates and cities will soon be announced.
Taking it from the top and what were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? "In chronological order: 1.Flatt's and Scruggs; 2.The Beatles; 3.James Brown, Wilson Pickett; 4.Eric Clapton; 5.BB,Albert and Freddie King; 6.Wes Montgomery."
"They are without a doubt still influential to me. I think we form our style out of a combination of our influences and our innovations. They will always effect my playing."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your new CD, how would you yourself describe your sound? "Beatnik funk works. But what I feel sets my guitar playing apart from a lot of other "Jazz" guitarists is that I emulate singers (as opposed to other guitarists) with my sound and approach to notes. If I could make my guitar sound like Al Green sings I would be VERY happy."
Your album title 'Grand Central' is an interesting choice, but perhaps it originates from a more personal standpoint for you? Is there a theme to it, perhaps? "I wanted a title that would give reference to my adopted home in NYC for the past 27 years. I recorded most of the CD with a band "live" in the recording studio in NY. I think there's an "on the edge" excitement about living in the city. People don't move here to be complacent. I wanted to capture that combination of drive, passion and a little bit of danger that comes with living in NY."
Also, please reveal to us what to expect live from you when you begin your spring/summer tour this year? "I'll be part of the "Guitars and Saxes"tour along with Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright and Tim Bowman. All these guys are great improvisers so I think we can all look forward to something a little different every night which should keep it exciting for all of us."
How easy (or hard) is it to constantly create a new, vibrant, wanted-by-the-public sound that both builds on and surpasses the musical wonderment's/accomplishments that preceded it within the industry? "Fairly impossible if you actually think about. All you can do is try and be honest at the moment you're making a record."
Please tell us more (in a quick fashion!) about what was going on in your life when these songs were being written and recorded:
'Hello Betty' - "Rick Braun and I wrote this together. We just wanted to write something fun."
'Slinky' - "I wanted to write a simple lead that the band could improvise on. Not that I would ever be so bold as to compare myself with Miles Davis, but a lot of his later work was based on this kind of concept and I was kind of emulating that."
'Mojito' - "I was on one of the "Smooth Jazz Cruises" in the caribbean. There was a good bartender onboard...... need I say more?"
With this album featuring covers from such greats as George Harrison and Sly Stone, how did you choose which of their songs to record, given their individual libraries of musical wealth? "It really comes down to melodies and being able to hear a way that I can adapt my guitar style to."
What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover in your own style today if asked ... and why?! "Hmm, I'll need to get back to you on that one!"
Lastly, Exclusive Magazine love Penguins ... do you?! "What?????!"
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