Guitarist Jeff Golub returns triumphantly with “Train Keeps A Rolling,” a soul-jazz album with keyboardist Brian Auger.
Port Washington, NY: Undaunted after mysteriously losing his vision two years ago and less than a year after tumbling onto the New York City train tracks and getting clipped and dragged by a train, guitarist Jeff Golub released his 12th solo collection, “Train Keeps A Rolling,” today on Entertainment One Music, a collaborative recording with jazz-rock pioneer keyboardist Brian Auger. Board the train uptown and one will be touched and inspired by the triumphant spirit of the chart-topping guitar slinger who has adapted to his new life without sight with grace and humility. Hop on the crosstown route and it’s all about the strength of the music Golub produced with Grammy-nominated producer Bud Harner.
In just three weeks, the soul-jazz album’s first single, an edgy version of Curtis Mayfield’s gritty street tale “Pusherman,” has shot up to #13 on the Billboard BDS Smooth Jazz Songs chart while additional tracks from the disc are garnering airplay at jazz, blues and triple A radio stations. In fact, “Train Keeps A Rolling” debuted this week on the Roots Music Report’s blues chart at #47.
To support the record release, Golub and Auger will play concerts together this month in five U.S. metropolises from coast to coast: Boston (August 22 at Scullers Jazz Club), New York City (August 24 at Lucille’s Grill at BB King Blues Club), Washington, DC (August 25 at The Hamilton), Los Angeles-Orange County (August 27 at Spaghettini) and San Francisco (August 29 at Yoshi’s). The duo will be in Philadelphia on August 23 to perform on radio station WXPN’s World Café Live “Free at Noon” concert series, which will air and stream live.
Pairing Golub with Auger to make a guitar-Hammond B3 album was Harner’s idea, which turned out to be a divine union resulting in a retro-sounding collection featuring torrid guitar and keyboard soloing. Auger’s earlier work with Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express inspired Golub’s formative years by demonstrating to the then-teenager that rockers could play jazz. The original drummer from that band, Steve Ferrone, keeps the beat on “Train Keeps A Rolling” with bassist Derek Frank and percussionist Luis Conte completing the taut rhythm section. A mighty four-person horn section (Mindi Abair, Nick Lane, Dave Woodford and Steve Madaio) adds muscle to the tracks. In addition to the smoking instrumentals are several vocal numbers featuring the uniquely expressive voices of Christopher Cross (a cover of Paul Carrack’s “How Long”), Ambrosia’s David Pack (a spacy take on The Police’s “Walking On The Moon”) and The Oblivion Express’ Alex Ligertwood on a pair of tunes originally recorded by the British outfit (“Happiness Is Just Around The Bend” and “Whenever You’re Ready”). Golub penned the title track and the boisterous “J&B” for the set while Auger also contributed a couple of originals (“Isola Natale” and “Shepherds Bush Market”) that fit alongside rollicking renditions of Lalo Schifrin’s “The Cat” and Willie Dixon’s “I Love The Life I Live.”
Below are excerpts from some of the initial reviews:
“Golub’s fiery blues and rock licks are unforgettable as Auger’s driving style and power fully complement the guitarist. These two should have done this a long while ago. It’s full of phat grooves, gutsy blues, and energy off the charts…This collaboration was a stroke of genius.” –-The Smooth Jazz Ride
“’Train Keeps A Rolling’ signals to the world that despite some recent personal setbacks his (Golub’s) musical career will, thankfully, keep rolling right along.” —Something Else! Reviews
“’Train Keeps A Rolling’ is certainly an interesting and diverse collaboration between Brian Auger and Jeff Golub, and although the guitarist steps into the ‘soul-jazz’ genre, his blues roots are still apparent in the album's arrangements and his playing.” —Teen Jazz