Jeff Churchwell has made a number of high-risk, life-changing decisions in the last few years, possibly none more important than finally abandoning the "molting Pomeranian" hairstyle he'd been sporting since 1986. Add a Vandyke, forego an earring, and "voila!" A pop musician who actually looks the part. It's so crazy, it just might work.
All right, so he also moved from Tulsa to Chicago, married a cool science teacher and has two little doppelgangers to show for it, but honestly, the haircut can take the credit for much of that, as well.
Jeff is a singer-songwriter who remembers what he loved and admired most about the music which shaped him, and attempts to recapture, refine and re-invent it for 21st-century listeners. You'll be the judge of that, of course, but hey, he can dream. The marriage of an evocative, thought-provoking lyric to a memorable melody is the goal in all of his writing, be it satirical or social, personal or romantic. "Ooooh, baby, yeah, baby" has yet to make its way from Jeff's head to his word processor, but that doesn't mean it won't, if that's what is required to make the song work. What makes its way from Jeff's 6 and 12-string guitars is sophisticated fingerstyle accompaniment, in a wide range of genres.
Jeff's most recent compositions include: "Breck Girls," a rock and roll paean to adolescent desire and naïveté, filtered through forty-something cynicism and too many years working in ad agencies; the folk-styled "Proving Voltaire Right Again," ("Common sense is not so common."); "Sound of I Love You," a graceful, soaring country waltz; "In This Kitchen," a full-tilt bluegrass romp through a rocky relationship; and an acoustic-pop nod and grin to slackers everywhere, "Plain Brown Wrapper."
Currently, Jeff is working both sides of the street: the coffeehouse circuit in and around Chicago as a solo, and the all-out assault on the bar stages with his new band, "The Hawk In October." Jeff completed his first all-original CD, "Clandestiny," in 2003. "Clandestiny" was recorded with the aid of Holly Pintozzi on drums and percussion; Bill Kavanagh on bass guitars; Kirk Munn on keyboards; and Martha Murphy on fiddles and Dave Bagdade on mandolin and guitars. Martha and Dave are also members of the Chicago-area bluegrass band "Whistle Pig," another featured CDBaby group. All are remarkable musicians whose depth of experience is proving invaluable to the pursuit of Jeff's dreams.
Of course, that haircut hasn't hurt either.