Stop and Go
In 2011, Sonic Zen Recorded, mixed and co-produced Jeff Campbell's album Stop and Go.
Spanning a wide breadth of production approaches, Stop and Go showcases Jeff Campbell's acoustic side. From the solo takes of Promise and Do I Get a Moment to the live-in-studio rock band on Laundry Day, this is an album that truly represents Jeff as a songwriter, performer, and producer.
We started the process with a handful of old tracks to mix, and a handful of new ones to record. Several were added along the way, including the opening track, Shut Your Mouth. Jeff decided to sing none of the vocal harmonies himself, which was a great choice considering how many wonderfully talented friends were able to come in to the studio and contribute.
To keep with the acoustic theme, we used upright bass rather than electric on all but one track. Deciding to push the limits of this approach, we chose one cover song, Drive, by The Cars, which was originally done with nothing but voice and synthesizers. We set out to match the lush, enveloping textures of this 80's ballad, using nothing but voice and acoustic instruments -- not even allowing ourselves to use classic electric instruments like the Hammond B3 or Fender Rhodes. From a foundation of acoustic guitars, kick drum and upright bass, we layered in tambourine, shakers and hand percussion in the naturally reverberant acoustics of the hallway. Playing the role of the synth pads are 17 layers of trombone and trumpet, with 27 total layers of vocal harmonies at the song's climax. Grand piano, tabla, a high-strung nashville guitar, cabasa, vibroslap, clave, glockenspiel, and a couple of dudes banging on a spiral staircase all made it into the final four-minute mix, for a total of 98 tracks! Releasing "Stop and Go" in 2012, Jeff is currently touring the US with Megan Slankard, Brad Brooks, and a number of other artists who performed on the record.
Jeff Campbell is a natural. Any lover of music can see that when he's performing, it is what he was born to do. This young singer-songwriter was brought up in a musical family with constant exposure to artists and performers from the last six decades. These artists have influenced a songwriting style, a mix of raw rock and winding lyrical melodies, which continues to evolve within him through the years.
Touring and performing through countless venues on the East Coast, Campbell put his nose to the grindstone and built a fast and steady reputation and faithful following, selling out venues in New York and Pennsylvania on a regular basis. A Philadelphia native, Campbell moved to San Francisco in 2004 specifically for the Rock scene he had heard was developing. It was here that, in addition to his solo efforts, Campbell started writing, recording and performing as front man for the San Francisco-based rock band Pine & Battery (www.pineandbattery.com), which garners the newest editions to his rock catalogue of original music. Pine & Battery's 2006 self-titled release, and single ''Southern", can still be heard in rotation on both AAA's KFOG and KQED radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.
2009 saw the band's second release, "2". The single "Latest & Greatest" can be heard on rotaion on SF's 107.7 The Bone. Though the band is currently writing and recording new music for a 2012 release, Campbell continues to explore his acoustic rock roots in San Francisco and beyond.
Early 2012 will see the release of Campbell's first-ever acoustic album, Stop and Go, a more acoustic-based collection of songs. With this album, Jeff promises to stay true to the songwriting style that P&B fans have come to know but also to test some boundaries in terms of production, approach and style. Stop and Go also boasts guest performances from several of the Bay area's finest musicians, including but not limited to: Megan Slankard, Brad Brooks, Austin Wilacy and James Deprato, who not only offered their performance talents, but also lent their hands with songwriting, arrangements and production.