I grew up listening to Country music because that is what my Dad listened to – George Jones, Merle, Waylon, Dolly – any of the greats that were on the radio (WJJD back then). We lived in the Chicago area, which is not a Country music Mecca by any standards, so I guess I feel fortunate that I was exposed to it at a young age.
I started playing the drums as a kid, and shortly thereafter discovered Rock-n-Roll. Rock-n-Roll and drums go very good together. I played in a bunch of different bands as a drummer, and then in my late teens I switched to guitar and then also piano. It is much easier to write songs on the guitar or piano than it is on the drums.
I played in all sorts of different bands covering every rock genre from Heavy Metal, to Classic Rock, to Alternative and even an Ozzy tribute band. But, the songs I wrote never really seemed to work for that type of music. Band members would always complain that I was too mellow, or the song didn’t have a hard enough edge. It wasn’t until I went back to listening to Country music that my songs, and lifestyle for that matter, seemed to fit. I may live in a big city, but my wife and I spend the summers in a small town and feel much more at home (no offense to any city lovers).
My musical tastes are so diverse that it would be hard to nail down any specific influences, but I can say that I pay more attention to the singers who write their own songs more than anything. I also love a boogie-woogie piano, Brad Paisley is a god on the guitar, and a good song is a good song, no matter what type of music it comes from.
*All of the songs on Jeffrey's CDs are his own compositions. He played all of the instruments (guitar, piano, drums, bass, mandolin) with the exception of the fiddle and pedal steel guitar.