Missouri native Jeff Black knew he wanted a career in music even before he hit his teens. When he was only ten years old, he persuaded his parents to buy him a guitar. In between school, and then later work, Black learned to play that guitar, to write songs, and to sing. Before he started his professional career in the music business, he worked at a gas station, a car wash, a warehouse, and even in a club as a bouncer. In his early twenties, Black began performing at Blayney's, the blues club where he worked as a bouncer. His fan base slowly expanded, and he left the club and toured across the United States, stepping in as an opening act for artists like Jerry Jeff Walker, John Prine, and Maria McKee.
By 1996, Black's career was taking wings of its own. He appeared on recordings with Blackhawk, Sam Bush, and Iris Dement. In 1998, he joined up with drummer Ken Coomer, guitarist and keyboardist Jay Bennett, and bassist John Stirratt to record the album Birmingham Road, released on the Arista Records label. "Long Way to Go," "Ghosts in the Graveyard," "Valley," and "That's Just About Right" are some of the tracks on this first album. Black returned in early 2003 with B-Sides and Confessions, Vol. 1. Featuring solo acoustic and sparse trio performances, it was a less rollicking record than Birmingham Road, but paid even closer attention to Black's sweet wine-and-rawhide vocals. Originally available exclusively through Black's website, B-Sides and Confessions was issued officially by Nashville indie Dualtone on March 18, 2003. In 2005 Black released Tin Lily, a warm, diverse and altogether more cohesive album of all new material, again on the Dualtone label. ~ Charlotte Dillon
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