Gloucester, Massachusetts can be a tough town. Born and raised in this small port town north of Boston, Jeff Rowe cut his teeth on punk rock. He and his band mates in the now defunct BoxingWater often sang about the frustrations and angst that comes along with an attempt to rise above a backdrop that's trying it's hardest to keep you down. And now, with a new clarity that perhaps comes with time and age, Rowe is telling these stories again.
Though comparisons and influences are inevitable, Rowe's brand of acoustic folk has a unique freshness. Without sounding contrived Rowe manages this familiar medium with a natural ease which, as it should be, allows his songs to be the center of our attention. Rowe's songs, though at times extremely personal, have a universality that allows the listener to not only glimpse Rowe's perspective but also urge a sort of self reflection on our part as well. There is no songwriter elitism here, just an honest attempt at showing that music can not only help, but perhaps heal. Frailty, anger, hope, all of which are conditions we all deal with are brought to the forefront in Rowe's music and they are dealt with an insight I believe we can all benefit from.
After spending several years in the southern heat of Richmond, Virginia bettering his craft, Rowe returned to Massachusetts and released his first acoustic music as one half of Tomorrow The Gallows, a duo consisting of Rowe and longtime friend Bertram Holdredge. Now, out on his own, Rowe has accumulated a catalog of literally hundreds of songs, a portion of which will be recorded back in Richmond, VA and released as his first proper solo effort.
The road awaits. More songs will be written, for Rowe hasn't spent the better part of his life writing and recording music for labels or deadlines or some silly form of status, but because he has too, just as surely as we all have to breathe.