Keys And Chords
AUSTIN-BASED JEFF PLANKENHORN GOES ON A "SOULSLIDE" SONIC JOURNEY WITH NEW CD COMING FROM LOUNGE SIDE RECORDS ON MARCH 18, FEATURING SPECIAL GUESTS RUTHIE FOSTER & MALFORD MILLIGAN
NEWS / Austin, TX – Acclaimed Austin-based guitarist Jeff Plankenhorn, who’s worked with a host of high-profile artists including Joe Ely, Ruthie Foster, Bobby Whitlock and Ray Wylie Hubbard, will step into the solo spotlight with his new CD, SoulSlide, due March 18 on Lounge Side Records. Jeff Plankenhorn will celebrate the new album with a series of special performances in and around the upcoming South by Southwest Music Festival set for March in Austin, including an official CD release party show on Saturday, March 19, at 9:00 PM to close out the Lounge Side Records showcase that he’ll also host throughout the day at the Strange Brew, Lounge Side (three-time award winner of the Austin Chronicle poll as best venue).
Produced by Jeff Plankenhorn, Ross Hogarth (Keb' Mo', Ziggy Marley) and Miles Zuniga (Fastball), the even-dozen tracks on SoulSlide include a number of Plankenhorn originals, plus a kickin’ cover of Sam and Dave’s “You Got Me Hummin’ and a never-released Willis Alan Ramsay cut, “Mockingbird Blues.” Additional tunes on the new album were co-written with Grammy-winner Gary Nicholson (“Lose My Mind”), Bret Dennan (“Vagabond Moonlight”) and Zuniga (“Vagabond Moonlight,” “Dirty Floor” and “Born To Win”).
Throughout SoulSlide, Plankenhorn plays a blend of blues, soul and rock on a stand-up lap steel guitar dubbed “The Plank” (which also happens to be Jeff’s nickname), which he designed and is in the process of beginning mass production. To view and hear his guitar in action, go to www.empyrealinstruments.com.
“My dream was to mix Sacred Steel influences like the Campbell Brothers and Robert Randolph with the Dobro stylings of Jerry Douglas and Uncle Josh Graves,” says Plankenhorn about his unique sound. “Plus, I’ve been a singer first all my life and wrote the majority of the tunes on the new CD.”
Special guests on SoulSlide include Grammy nominee and Blues Music Award-winning singer Ruthie Foster, who duets with Jeff on a song titled “Like Flowers,” a Rolling Stones-style track Jeff co-wrote in the vein of “Tumbling Dice,” based on a quote from author Charles Bukowski. Foster also sings backup on the song, “Dirty Floor.” Original Texas soul man Malford Milligan (Storyville) and Jeff sing a duet on the Sam and Dave classic, “You Got Me Hummin’.” Milligan and Plankenhorn have been playing regularly and writing together since Jeff played all of the late Stephen Bruton’s guitar parts on the tribute album, An Evening with the Songs of Stephen Bruton. Milligan also sings backup on “Lose My Mind.”
Jeff’s band consists of the former rhythm section of late Texas guitar legend Stephen Bruton's old trio: Brannen Temple on drums and Yoggie on bass; plus young guitar/keyboard player Dave Scher. They fill Austin’s Saxon Pub every month or so on Fridays and Saturdays.
Other guest players on SoulSlide include Rami Jaffe (The Wallflowers, Foo Fighters) - Hammond organ, mellotron; Peter Adams - Wurlitzer, clavichord, Hammond organ; Miles Zuniga – electric/acoustic guitar, piano, electric bass, background vocals; Tim Pierce – electric/acoustic guitar; and the remaining members of The Resentments: Scrappy Jud Newcomb – electric/acoustic 12-string guitar, background vocals; Bruce Hughes - electric bass, background vocals; and John Chipman – drums.
Since emerging as the go-to-guitarist for both recordings and live touring by a host of Texas music stars, Jeff Plankenhorn has won accolades from both players and the media alike.
“What a great piece of work - congratulations! The songs are kick-ass, the recordings are in your face, and the production is immaculate! There is a soulfulness in each song that stirs a flame from the embers of love reclaimed. The stories are universal and in tune. The guitar riffs are wicked but true. This recording is relevant to the times and will be on people's playlists for a long time.” – Joe Ely, upon hearing SoulSlide
“...with a voice like a bearded angel and some of the best guitar playing in the Western Hemisphere, he performs songs of depth and weight that belies his age.” - Jon Dee Graham, Texas songwriting legend?
“‘Plank’ is simply one of the best players in a city full of them. ‘Plank’ – if I go first, will you play at my funeral?” – Jody Denberg, Austin radio legend & current on-air talent at KUTX-FM
About Jeff Plankenhorn
A quick listen to the albums released by Jeff Plankenhorn will give you an idea of the extremely varied styles the man Emily Robison of The Dixie Chicks calls a “chameleon” of performing. A deeper listen will uncover the overwhelmingly deep love all types of music Jeff has incorporated in his own unique style. Plankenhorn, or “Plank” as he is known, has found a way to blend the soulful vocals of the church, Motown, and funk singers that dominated his speakers as a youth with the bluegrass he studied while living in Nashville and the lyrically driven feel of the songwriters he has performed with since moving to Austin into an intoxicating sound that spans them all.
Like many other artists, Jeff found his voice in the church choir of his boyhood home in Ohio, “It was my first sense of belonging, community, and a feeling of doing good for others when we sang,” he recalls. Given a guitar from his older brother (an accomplished musician in his own right), Plank immediately found his calling as a musician, and began a lifetime calling of mastering the stringed instruments that spoke to him. His high school days, full of recording and performing, led him to the University of Michigan where he quickly became a mainstay in the Ann Arbor music scene. Following college, Jeff headed to Nashville to continue his education, “studying” under the likes of Uncle Josh Graves, Gene Wooten, and Jerry Douglas. Never satisfied with the status quo, Jeff was intrigued by the suggestion of songwriting legend Ray Wylie Hubbard of coming to Austin, Texas. Upon arriving in the Lone Star State, Plankenhorn’s Swiss army knife abilities immediately created a high demand for his talents, and he began adding to a resume that includes appearances on records by such luminaries as Joe Ely, Ray Wylie, Slaid Cleaves, Eliza Gilkyson, Jimmy Lafave and many more.
All of these experiences have led to Jeff’s currently tireless schedule of playing shows that include, song driven folk solo appearances, slide guitar heavy rock ‘n’ roll/soul shows with his own band, as well as the many standing dates with the collaborative Austin bands, The Apostles of Manchaca, The Purgatory Players, and the Resentments. 2016 will have Jeff amping up his national touring schedule with band shows, solo gigs and festival appearances, all while maintaining his presence in the Austin scene. The year promises to let the rest of the country in on what so many other musicians and the entire Austin music community have been enjoying for years now.
Additional upcoming Jeff Plankenhorn performances:
Wednesday, March 16: Jeff Plankenhorn with special guests - Austin Guitar Special @ Threadgill's World Headquarters – 5:00 PM - FREE SHOW - ALL AGES WELCOME
Friday, March 18: Heart Strings & Highways South of South X Showcase – Strange Brew, Lounge Side – Jeff will MC part of the event & do a solo set - http://www.southofsouthx.com/
Jeff’s regular residencies:
Sunday, March 13: Purgatory Players Gospel Brunch (with Jon Dee Graham, Scrappy Judd Newcomb & Seela) – 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Sunday, March 13: The Resentments @ the Saxon Pub – 7:30 – 10:00 PM
Tuesday, March 15: The Apostles of Manchaca (with Malford Milligan) - 8:00-9:30 PM
For more information, visit www. http://jeffplankenhorn.net/