Jeff Golub is there to enjoy whatever music he is playing – and wherever

Published on March 23rd, 2021

By Jim Dail

In the music business, when an artist has a successful album, record labels are eager for a new one as soon as possible.

However, jazz guitarist Jeff Golub is just fine with taking his time to record a follow up to “Grand Central.”

“I’m still enjoying it, and I want to make sure everyone has heard it” he laughed. “When I’m tired of it I will go back and do a new one.”

Golub, as part of Guitars & Saxes, will kick of the 2008 Champagne Jazz Festival at Thornton Winery on Sunday. Joining him is guitarist Peter White and saxman Gerald Albright.

“With Guitars and Saxes, there’s a win-win situation for us and the audience,” he said. “Each of the performers has to bring the 

A game because you don’t want to fall short.”

Golub points out that people have a good chance to hear the hits.

“You do the cream of your material,” he said. “When you are alone you can dig deeper into your songs and mix up hits with album cuts.”

Granted, that means that some people may not hear their all-time favorite song, which Golub acknowledged.

“No matter what I’m doing someone will always ask why I didn’t play a particular song,” Golub said. “Well, I have over 100 songs. That would be some show. It’s funny because when you do your first show of your career you are scrambling to come up with enough material to do the set, and now you have to leave things out.”

Like most guitar players, Golub began as a boy, eventually attending the prestigious Berklee School of Music in Boston before joining ‘80s rocker Billy Squier as lead guitarist, both in the studio and on tour. He eventually became part of Rod Stewart’s band before leaving years later to focus on a solo career.

“You can go to YouTube and see me playing with Billy and Rod,” he said. “It’s kind of funny to look back.”

Over the years, Golub has become synonymous with playing a Fender Stratocaster, not the typical guitar for jazz.

“Back in the old days I played a real ’56 Les Paul, but I did have the Strat and I did some things with it,” he said. “I started enjoying the percussive sound of the Strat. It was more of a jazz sound and it has so much personality.”

That said, to Golub, jazz is not so much a clearly defined label as it is a genre of music that is ever-changing and more in tune with what is happening in music. 

“I watched Ken Burns’ series on Jazz and at the end a lot of people complained about the contemporary side of jazz,” he noted. “Well, after the ‘50s, it started to change because there were so many influences: rock, pop, soul. To me jazz simply means that there must be instrumental improvisation involved.”

Indeed, while Golub sites many of the ‘50s and ‘60s legends as inspirations, he is clearly inspired by other people and circumstances.

There is “Mojito,” an acoustic song inspired by the popular rum drink, “Ain’t No Woman Like the One I Got,” which was inspired by an idea from Rick Braun, and “If You Want Me to Stay,” inspired by a jam session. There’s even a Christmas album now.

“The Christmas album was an inspiration, an idea that I had and I started talking to people who had worked with me before and they said let’s do it,” he said. “I didn’t think I’d get it together but we got it out on our Website now and it will be on wider release later this year.”

All in all, it’s what Golub cites as the need to be inspired and to simply use all the different musical genres when you are inspired to do so.

“You can’t just stay with traditional jazz,” he said. “It should mix together. The guys from the ‘40s and ‘50s were breaking new ground and they were searching for the newest influence.”

Certainly Golub has earned a reputation for pushing the envelope and branching out into new areas, even if many people may not know it.

“You would think Golub is not a household name, but there is some notoriety in the fact that 30 million people have music that I played on in one way or another,” he said, referring to his solo career as well as the albums he recorded on with Billy Squier and Rod Stewart. “I’ve never thought of separating myself from any style of music. I don’t differentiate. I get the same excitement whether I’m listening to Charlie Parker or AC/DC.”


Comment guidelines, edit this message in your Wordpress admin panel