Genres:Folk, Country - Contemporary/Pop, Country - Alternative, Production - Pop, Pop Rock, Alternative Pop, Pop - Adult Contemporary, Production - Rock, Production - Pop, Production - Rock, Rock - Pop Rock, Rock - Alternative Pop
Somewhere on the homestretch to an actual doctorate in classical guitar (yes, they have them), the phenomenally accomplished musician Jeff Litman turned to face the awful truth: his true talent wasn't for gnarly Spanish concertos but post-punk American three-minute pop songs. Upon the release of his 2009 debut Postscript, critics clearly agreed, comparing its jolts of gritty, melodic Americana to the likes of Pete Yorn, Michael Penn, and Elvis Costello.
As the multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter worked on its follow up, 2012’s Outside, he carved a place in New York City’s music scene. Litman recorded Outside throughout 2011 in Minneapolis and New York, co-producing it with his old friend, Andy Thompson (Dan Wilson, Jeremy Messersmith), and recording with two early heroes: drummer, Michael Bland (Prince, Soul Asylum) and Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. (Jellyfish, Beck). While its predecessor spilled out of grief from a brutal break-up, Outside lives in the wiser, uncertain present—grappling with the daily struggles of modern life as an independent artist in a rapidly changing personal and musical landscape.
Litman was born in Minneapolis at the tail end of the ‘70s, playing piano by age six and guitar by ten. Listening to grunge and metal throughout the 90’s, he eventually became hooked on the melody-driven classic rock of the Beatles and Beach Boys as well as the gritty melodic rock of Minneapolis bands like The Replacements, Soul Asylum, and the Jayhawks. After being tuned into Miles Davis by a guitar teacher, he dropped into the deep end of jazz, eventually earning a degree from Indiana University’s prestigious jazz program in 2002. After college, he followed his growing love of classical music to New York City, where he enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music, earning his masters degree in classical guitar in 2006, which is more or less where the wheels came off.
Towards the end of Litman’s grad school studies, a relationship headed toward marriage abruptly ended, pushing him towards that pitfall that claims so many talented artists: a PhD. Seeking escape into academia, he enrolled in a doctoral program in classical guitar at the City University of New York. But as his heartache leveled off, he sought the sturdiest mode of expressing his lingering feelings he could find—melodic rock n’ roll—writing the songs on Postscript and carving out the life that would lead to Outside.
While Jeff is decidedly old-school in his fandom--he still listens to full albums—he embraces the public’s newfound appetite for a steady stream of singles. Feeling liberated from the need to make an LP every two years, and motivated by his desire to constantly be making new music, he is now releasing a new song on the first Thursday of every month. And since embarking on this project with “Nothing,” written in NYC during Hurricane Sandy’s power outage he sees no reason to stop.
All of Jeff’s music is available at all the usual online retailers (iTunes, Spotify, Amazon...) or as a pay-what-you-want download at his bandcamp store.