January 1, 2015 – Jeff Golub was born April 15th 1955 in Copley, Ohio. Golub started playing guitar, like so many, by emulating 1960s blues rock guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix. Then, following up on the artists that these musicians cited as their inspiration, he delved deeper into the blues listening to Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, plus B.B., Albert, and Freddie King. He was in his teens when he first heard a Wes Montgomery record which set him on a whole new course of musical direction, which led him to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
In a musical journey that spans more than three decades and encompasses a diverse assortment of projects from across the jazz, blues and rock spectrum, the visionary guitarist maintained the same honesty, enthusiasm and creativity that first won him his reputation as one of his era’s most skillful and original musicians. Whether it was his own inventive yet effortlessly accessible recordings or his collaborations with a dizzying array of artists, Golub’s work was consistently distinguished by the versatility and imagination that he brought to everything he did.
While in Boston he played in The James Montgomery Band. From Boston, he moved to New York in 1980 where his first major gig was with Billy Squier after which he appeared on seven of his albums and completed 3 world tours with Billy. His work with Squier helped to earn Golub a reputation that led to him working on stage and/or in the studio with such artists as Tina Turner, Peter Wolf, John Waite, Vanessa Williams, Gato Barbieri and Bill Evans.
He than became a member of Rod Stewart’s backing band, with whom he played from 1988 until 1995 performing on four albums and five world tours, as well as recording the live DVD, One Night Only, at the Royal Albert Hall.
At this same time he released his first of 15 solo albums, Unspoken Words for Gaia Records in 1988. He really embraced his role as band leader and instrumentalist with the release of his second album Avenue Blue in 1994. Jeff had also been a member Dave Koz & The Kozmos, the house band of The Emeril Lagasse Show. His last several albums were with British Rock/Jazz icon Brian Auger (one of my favorite combinations was Brian Auger and the Trinity with Julie Driscoll).
Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, was a crucial early influence upon Golub’s musical consciousness.
In June 2011, Golub became blind due to collapse of the optic nerve. Rather than allowing this devastating setback to divert him from his musical course, he simply picked up the pieces and got back to work.
“Fortunately, I’m in one of the few professions where I can get by without my sight,” Golub states, adding, “It’s made me a better artist. It’s opened up my ears, and I hear things more acutely now. It’s put me more in touch with my feelings and with my public. My audience has been incredibly supportive.”
The title of his 14th album Train Keeps A Rolling nods both to the influence of Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express and to an incident in September 2012, when Golub fell on the tracks of a New York subway and was dragged by a train before being rescued by bystanders. Amazingly, he walked away from the potentially fatal accident with only minor injuries.
Two years later in October 2014, he was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy (aggressive brain deterioration disease) from which he died a little over two months later.
Jeff was 59 years 8 months 17 days old when he died on 1 January 2015.
“There’s only two kinds of music,” he once said. “The kind that’s from the heart and the kind that’s not.”