Jeff Callahan, a New Jersey based singer-songwriter and poet, will donate all proceeds from the sale of his new CD, Empty Swings, to the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a unique foundation that evolved from a young cancer patient's front yard lemonade stand to a nationwide fundraising movement to find a cure for childhood cancer. Empty Swings is a haunting collection of sixteen surrealistic poems, recited by Callahan and singer-songwriter Kathy Phillips and accompanied by the musical compositions of jazz fusion guitarist B.D. Lenz. Influenced by writers like William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Hunter S. Thompson and T.S. Eliot, Callahan employs the techniques of surrealist poetry, like automatism, to explore themes such as love, madness, sin, bliss and addiction.
Callahan has previously released two other CDs, Woebegone (2004) and Havens, Haunts and Hollows (2000). Due to a solid mixture of folk and rock with some departures to other styles, Woebegone was well received by college and AAA radio upon its debut with such songs as Courting Delirium, Apple Blossoms and Miss Strange Soul. Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee under the direction of Steve Haggard of Wild Oats Records, Havens, Haunts and Hollows has a spare touch, a thoughtful lyric quality and that dark gothic edge that's found in classic American folk music. Highlights include songs like Two Hundred Miles, as Callahan sings of journeying back to love, and Central Avenue Lullaby, the sad and evocative goodbye of a father to his daughter when her mother returns to take her to a new home far away.
Callahan is currently working on another spoken word CD with jazz composer Greg Federico, as well as, on a rootsy country-rock collaboration with Kathy Phillips. Empty Swings was engineered by Dave Edwards and includes performances by Lenz (guitar), Edwards (upright bass), James Rosocha (electric bass), Geoff Mattoon (saxophone), Tom Cottone (drums), Joe Mekler (percussion) and Daniel Mintseris (piano).
|POSTED BY: radioindy||POSTED ON: 12 Oct 2009 09:19 PM|
Jeff Callahan: Empty Swings
|POSTED BY: momof5pacs||POSTED ON: 22 Oct 2009 07:14 PM|
Bringing poetry to life, "Empty Swings," creatively composed by Jeff Callahan brilliantly blends spoken word with Jazz Fusion. Each track features Callahan verbalizing life and nature with a voice that is soft and gentle. Callahan paints pictures with lyrics like "...wildly rummaging through button-down clouds and in pot bellied raindrops smothering the haunted beating of your nightstand clock" on the track "Sweet Dreams Earth." Even though the album is focused around the spoken poems, the instrumental background deserves credit as the cast of musicians deftly perform with emotive tonality. For instance, listen as the sweet and tender electric piano and soulful saxophone cascade around the poetic words on “Slide, Slide, Slide.” "Empty Swings" gives a listener great imagery with its poetic words and is complemented by wonderful music making it an album well worth having.
-Matt M. and the RadioIndy.com Reviewer Team
|POSTED BY: radioindy||POSTED ON: 09 Nov 2009 12:36 PM|
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