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).