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Jeff Gutman - Arrive

Acoustic Rock

San Francisco

Band Description

Jeff Gutman is a prolific singer-songwriter from the San Francisco area. For the last several years, he has been performing headlining shows at dozens of clubs all over the west coast. Jeff’s songs are filled memorable stories and melodies.

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Artist Biography

Jeff Gutman is a singer/songwriter from San Francisco. For the last seven years, he has been performing headlining shows at dozens of clubs all over the west coast. Jeff’s songs are powerful statements with memorable stories and melodies.

Jeff released his first album “The Mindfire Tapes” in the Fall of 1999. The album was a collection of  experimental songs and sound collages. The album went into second pressing after six months, and Jeff embarked on a tour of the Pacific Northwest. Songs from this album were featured on KUSF in the summer of 2000.

In the fall of 2000, Jeff recorded the controversial “Hellfire Vampire.” The album was totally different from the first in that all of the songs were performed live with no overdubs. The instrumentation was sparse, with only an acoustic guitar and vocals. However, the songs were far from folk material. They were more raw and aggressive than the first album with some shocking subject matter.

In the Spring of 2001, Jeff formed a full group to better accentuate the compositions he was writing. Full of energy and intensity, the Jeff Gutman Band toured the west coast before recording an album in the fall of 2001. The album, “Cold Cold Town”, was tightly produced by Mark Love at Polk Street Studios and released in the summer of 2002. The album was a straight forward rock album filled with complex chord structures and intense rythmns. The songs focus on stories of survival in the city during recent economic decline. The group toured through the summer of 2002, with media coverage from local television
and newspapers.

In the Fall of 2003, the song “You Were On Your Way” was featured on a benefit CD compilation for the AIDS Walk Organization. The album, “Sounds for Hope Vol.1” was designed to feature top acts from the Bay Area. The entire proceeds went towards funding AIDS research and education.

In early 2005, Jeff started recording his fourth album "No Way Back." The album was complex and densely layered, combing multiple genres into each song. Jeff spent many hundreds of hours by himself laying down each track seperately, starting with multiple guitars, pianos, bass and drums and expanding the songs to include a full orchestra and four part vocal harmonies. After two years of work, the album was finally finished and released in December of 2006.  Songs from this album were used in independent films and featured on KLLC Alice-97.3 FM in San Francisco.

Jeff first started writing the album “Through the Night” in the summer of 2006. He had a series of music themes and melodies, most of which had come to him in dreams. After he experienced a series of dark and dramatic events in his life, he became very inspired to write words for these songs, finishing them at the pace of one a day. Rather than writing songs that dwelled solely on the more negative aspects of the trauma, he wanted to make an album where the songs when taken together would give a more complete picture showing the highs and lows of an emotional journey. The songs were varied stylistically, taking elements of power pop, acoustic rock and multi-sectional suites alongside with quiet confessional piano songs with full string arrangements. He set about recording the album in March of 2008, layering the songs one instrument at a time. After a series of intensive mixing sessions, the album was ready for release in the summer of 2010.

Jeff Gutman’s albums are available at:  Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.com

Press Release
Announcing New Album Release: Jeff Gutman “Arrive”
Notes from the Author: 
Arrive is an album that was four years in the making. It spans multiple genres with songs containing full orchestral scores.

One of the overarching themes of the album deals with how we connect (or fail to connect) to each other in our current technology-driven world. The songs serve as a reminder that the world around us is not how it seems on our smartphone screens, and that we can easily spend so much time connecting online that our virtual life replaces our real one. The songs are a reflection of our modern world and all of its overly-connected yet somehow disconnected feelings.

The title track "Arrive" is a call to arms, an invitation to travel the world and see it for yourself. You can't know the world as it really looks through a screen. All around the world, people are waiting there for you to arrive. Other songs on the album include the ragtime influenced "Walking Along in the Rain" where the smartphone users are so enraptured looking down that they walk right into poles. Another song "I'm Not Really There" features a narrator who spends so much time posting about where they are that they never really experience the place. These two songs juxtapose modern tech-driven themes with ragtime, one of the oldest American music styles. Other songs such as "The Only One I Know" deal with a character whose only connection to the outside world is a barista with which he falsely believes he's in a relationship.

Recording sessions for the album began in San Leandro, CA during mid-2012 under the working title "Modern Problems". My daughter had just been born prior to recording, so I had to lay down the tracks sporadically in the evenings while she slept. After taking all of 2013 off from recording, the sessions resumed in 2014, with all the instruments being recorded in intricate layers. I had used orchestral scores previously in other film and video projects, but this was the first time I had applied a full orchestra to my own music giving them a rich, full sound. Intensive mixing and mastering sessions were finally completed in early 2016.

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