Blue Notes, the new album from Jeff Whitehead, is now available. Whitehead spent his twenties writing songs, driving around Texas playing dancehalls, divebars, listening rooms, flatbed trailers in fields and everything in between, playing keys and guitar for country acts, opening for some heroes, toasting whiskey with friends new and old and releasing the album Bloodhound Heart to critical praise… Now standing on the other side of thirty years, Whitehead says, “it’s safe to say I’m old enough to know better, but here I am, back with a new album, Blue Notes. It’s honest, it’s raw, it’s me. I’m proud to share it with you and I hope you enjoy it."
Blue Notes, his sophomore album, follows his 2012 release Bloodhound Heart. Like Bloodhound Heart, Blue Notes features multi-instrumentalist and producer, Scott Davis of the Band of Heathens, at the helm. All songs were written by Whitehead and were recorded at Studio 601, a beautiful space in Austin, Texas. Whitehead says, “we handpicked some of my favorite musicians and coolest people on earth including Michael Inger (co-producer/engineer/mixing/drums), Matt Slagle (Bass), Lauren Hunt (harmony vocals), and Andrew Nolte (keys). For a bunch of white folks, we had a lot of soul in the room.” Blue Notes was then mastered by Fred Kevorkian (Willie Nelson’s Songbird, Ryan Adams’ Jacksonville City Nights, etc.) in New York. Photography and artwork by the talented Mark Abernathy in Austin, Texas. To say the least, there is some serious talent featured on these recordings.
Whitehead has shared the stage with Bruce Robison, Randy Rogers Band, Hayes Carll, K Phillips, Parker McCollum, Walt Wilkins, Rob Baird, Cory Morrow, Mike McClure, Chris King and many others at venues such as Gruene Hall, Floore’s Country Store and the Saxon Pub. Whether he is rockin’ with his band at a smoky dancehall or listening room, or just pickin’ a guitar or piano at home, you’ll notice one thing: he cares a hell of a lot about the song. And listeners are quick to pick up on this sentiment when listening to "Blue Notes“. The album captures the energy and soul that has been winning over radio stations and audiences and is another great example of Whitehead’s dedication to the craft of songwriting.
Whitehead stumbled into the world of songwriting when, living in College Station, Texas, he happened across a copy of American Songwriter Magazine and found their renowned Lyric Contest. Though he had written poetry and short stories, he had never written a song. After writing 5 songs, he mailed in his efforts and waited. The effort paid off. At age 19, he had won first place in the international contest for his song “Coffee and Dreams” (now featured on the album “Outlaw in My Mind”). Along with having his song published in the next issue of American Songwriter Magazine and receiving a Martin Guitar, Jeff received the most dangerous thing you can give to a songwriter: validation.
Now, with countless shows and two albums including two radio singles under his belt, and an upcoming full length album, this year is sure to be an exciting year for Jeff Whitehead and music fans alike.
Guitar: Gibson Hummingbird
Keyboard: Nord Electro II
Drink: Basil Hayden Bourbon