Grand prize winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, for the song "Fly"!
"Folk music with a serrated edge... Humming My Way Back Home is a magical blend of storytelling and driving flattop guitar. Earthy percussion, swampy electric bass, and superb guest vocalists and soloists enhance the album\'s rootsy vibe without obscuring its unvarnished urgency."
--Andy Ellis, music journalist (Guitar Player, Frets)
"Songs that fill the senses..."
--Mark Bialczak, The Post-Standard
"Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers balances solemnity with an almost-hidden playfulness in this music. The melodies are spare and direct, and three strings are seldom used when only one is called for. Give him a listen."
"Original, varied, and engaging."
--David Cantor, GoodSound!
"Beautiful original songs... 'Humming My Way Back Home\' is an album to listen to when you want to contemplate the everyday things of life."
For nearly 20 years, Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers has used his deep sense of music to deliver revelatory interviews with artists such as Joni Mitchell and Jerry Garcia, groundbreaking reports for NPR’s All Things Considered, and three books on songwriting and guitar. And as founding editor of Acoustic Guitar, Rodgers turned his lifelong passion for guitar into a thriving international monthly magazine.
All along the way Rodgers has been writing and playing his own songs, and growing creatively from his interactions with some of the greatest musicians of our time. And now all these experiences come together on a remarkable CD, Humming My Way Back Home.
"I've been writing and playing my own songs since I was a teenager, but in so many ways this CD feels like my debut," says Rodgers. "I’m a firm believer that musicians should only put out records when they really have something to say, and in the last few years these songs have been whacking me on the shoulder to say: Hey--put us out there. We’re raring to go."
Humming My Way Back Home is a testament to what Rodgers calls a "magic moment" in the technology of music, which he has explored as a musician and journalist from the digital recording revolution to the early days of MP3.com through the new frontier of online recording. Humming was recorded in various basements and living rooms on a laptop, then mixed and mastered in a professional studio. This combo, says Rodgers, gives a musician the ultimate freedom to capture intimate, in-the-moment performances with a clarity that rivals any pro studio.
On Humming, Rodgers uses that freedom to create a highly unconventional acoustic band with cajón (wooden box drum), hand percussion, acoustic guitar, and electric bass. On the CD Rodgers’ songs travel widely from their singer-songwriter roots, from the searing rock travelogue of "Wasting Time No More" to an adaptation of Brahms in "One More Waltz," from the hoedown beat of "Fly" to the sly funk of "Only the Soul" with dueling sax and guitar. At turns wryly funny and piercingly personal, Rodgers uses his writer’s eye for detail to tell emotionally moving tales of modern life.
Singer, songwriter, guitarist, drummer, author, editor, journalist: no matter which hat Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers is wearing, it’s all about the words and music.