FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2014 (Madison WI) – Ohio based singer/songwriter Jeff German releases his debut effort, “12 Rounds” March 18th on Madison, WI-based Slothtrop Records. The LP takes an eclectic mix of musical styles – country, punk, arena rock, bluegrass, gospel – and pummels them into a blue collar brand of Americana all his own.
“I never set out to write a certain type of song. The songs usually strangle me until I get them right,” says German. If that’s true, then12 Rounds, is evidence that German has had many close calls at the hands of his own songs. While German may be new to many as a solo act, he is a veteran musician. He was a member of quintessential Ohio band The Cur Dogs and works often as a studio musician in the Midwest and as a supporting musician for numerous acts such as Bloodshot Record’s Lydia Loveless.
Though the album is straight-up “blue collar rock,” it is built on a variety of influences. This diversity is in part thanks to German’s older brother, whose collection inspired the musician throughout his formative years. Jeff German grew up listening to his older brother’s record collection: Bowie, Mott the Hoople, Stones, Faces eventually morphed into The Clash, The Damned, The Jam and then into Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran. In addition to drawing on a wide berth of musical influences, German has been enriched by a wealth of life experience. With his trademark humility, German says, “I am the son of a strong union electrician. I am a husband, a father and a grandfather. I am a 50- year-old man who, after taxiing teenagers around and coaching high school hockey, has a few hours left in a day to cobble together some songs and some tunes.”
Ten of these tunes comprise 12 Rounds. “12 Rounds was nothing like I thought it would be. I was going for a ‘five guys in a room playing’ type of feel and wound up with a full on Midwest Rocker. No complaints but that’s the truth,” says German of the new record. And rock it does, from the album opener and lead single “Sit and Think” on. That track’s chorus finds German singing “This town needs a bar ‘cause I need a drink,” over a building drumbeat. “This is a song that was inspired by characters in books I read that just come at me and won’t leave me alone. Good guys stuck doing wrong things and not knowing how to stop the cycle,” German says of the single, which will be available in a special 200 piece vinyl limited edition with original artwork. Other standout tracks include “Kro-Bide,” a triumphant working-class anthem with a winning guitar solo. On “Long Road to Nowhere,” German intones a tribute to radio with impeccably timed delivery.
The imagery that dapples German’s lyrics—bars, sweat, and radio stations on long drives—might be familiar in Americana music, but it’s exciting and new to hear someone pull off music, vocals, and lyrics all with equal, outstanding panache.
12 Rounds will be released March 18, 2014 with the first pressing receiving a special 200 piece limited vinyl edition featuring hand numbered original artwork. More info about 12 Rounds and Jeff German is available at the band’s website, http://www.jgblanketyblanks.com/ or via their record label, http://www.slothtroprecords.com