September 27th, 2008 13:40 EST
Judyth Piazza chats with Jeff Golden, Author and Jeff Congo, Singer/Songwriter
Jeff Golden attended Harvard University as a National Scholar during the height of the Vietnam War and decided to swap the Ivy Halls for 20 acres in the backwoods of Oregon and a used chainsaw. He chronicled that journey in the book Watermelon Summer (Lippincott & Co, 1971). After a decade building homes, guiding whitewater river trips, and working in the forests of the Cascade Mountains, Jeff dropped back in to earn a Masters in Communications degree from Stanford University.
Jeff has spent the last 25 years in politics, broadcasting and editorial journalism. His political career includes service as a Jackson County (OR) Commissioner, Chief of Staff to the Oregon Senate President, and Environmental Policy aide to the City of Portland. During those years he wrote Forest Blood (Wellstone Books, 1998), the pre-eminent novel of the Northwest timber wars. His stand for responsible forestry made him the target of an unsuccessful recall campaign financed by national timber corporations, and earned him the first nomination ever from the state of Oregon for the JFK Profile in Courage Award, which is one experience that directly informed the writing of Unafraid.
For More Information: www.unafraidthebook.com
Something Distant was formed by vocalist/songwriter Jeff Congo. His career got started in Boston fronting the band "Last Week`s Lies." Guided by his drive for musical chemistry, he moved to Jacksonville, Florida. It wasn`t long before he met local singer/songwriter/producer Lu Rubino (Story Side B, Monkey the Fish, Flock of Seaguls). Lu produced some of the songs featured here on our website.
The last year has brought the band successful shows at Jack Rabbits, Freebird Live, among other venues. Something Distant got the opportunity to play at the Jacksonville Landing during Super Bowl XXXIX celebrations and a headlining spot during the 2006 FL Gators vs GA Bulldogs "worlds largest cocktail party." More recently the band has shared the stage with such bands as RED, Ben Robinson, and Universal Recording Artist "Big10-4."
The current band lineup has several years of experience playing for well known national recording artists as well as local bands in the South East area. Wes Arvin- lead guitar- has had the honor of playing with Carlos Santana, and is mentioned on Carlos` website. "Arvin, Wesley Jacksonville, FL, Times Union Center PAC, "Maggot Brain," May 3, - 1997," Jon Kretzer - Drums- has toured with a number of coutry artists including Faith Hill.
Lead Vocals and Guitar (Jeff Congo)
Born on December 19th in Methuen, MA, Jeff discovered his love for music at a very young age. During his fourth grade year of school, he was accepted to the Holy Rosary Boys Choir School in Lawrence, MA, where he studied piano, vocals, and performing under the conduction of David Bergeron. That same year, the boys Choir had the privilege of performing at Tangelwood Music Center in Lenox, MA under the world famous conductor Seigi Osawa, and also traveled to New York City for an number of other performances.
During his early college years at University of Massachusetts, Jeff studied guitar and Sound Recording Technology, and enjoyed singing and playing guitar in the local Boston based band Last Weeks Lies. ? The band played some rough gigs in the local bars around town. "I think our signatures are still on the wall at The Sad CafÃ© in Plaistow, NH!"
In June of 2000 Jeff moved to Jacksonville, FL where he met and quickly joined forces with singer, song writer, producer Lu Rubino (Story Side B). Although Lu was busy working on his own project, www.storysideb.com, the two began working and writing together. In addition to collaborating with Rubino, Jeff also joined creative forces with musician, songwriter Iker Robin ? Saldivar. Working with Rubino and Saldivar was where Jeff found the musical guidance and inspiration he needed to move forward with his own music career and the combination was the spark needed to create the beginning of Something Distant. Though Rubino`s work on his own project, and geographical distance with Saldivar made forming a band with the trio difficult, Jeff needed to find other talents to fill the voids, yet still continues to collaborate with Rubino and Saldivar.
Although the band went through several lineup changes, the current lineup of Something Distant ? holds the magic, chemistry, and connection Jeff had been searching for. The name "Something Distant" to me was like the theme for me trying to start this band. I had the privilege of meeting so many talented musicians and some really great people through the process, but it seemed almost impossible to get four guys to commit to the same direction musically. Everyone seemed to take a right or a left turn at some point along the way. I was beginning to feel that my opportunity to see this band become successful was some distant chance...Hence "something distant." I feel that with the current lineup however, we have really found the magic and connection that many bands never find."
Likes: Every moment with my beautiful son Dylan, Pizza (any kind!), the color Red, being in the recording studio, football, girls who can talk football, red wine, Italian food, My Golden Retriever "Jersey," Starbucks, palm trees, warm weather, and bikinis,
Dislikes: FORD!!, Rain, traffic, early morning hours, white wine, Cats, cold weather, spiders, finding hair in your food.