Jeff Golub was born on April 15, 1955 in Copley, Ohio just outside of Akron. It was growing up in Ohio where he first started listening to the blues rock artists of that time like Cream and Led Zeppelin and deeply affected by jazz improvisational players like Wes Montgomery. These musical influences would greatly impact his ideals and impressions about what music should be like. His fan worshipping inspired him to want to play the guitar and he began his ascension into becoming an axeman while in middle school/junior high school playing his first live performance at the age of 12. He attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston after graduating from high school in 1973 and soon established himself as a session guitarist.
Golub has a history of being recommended to musicians through word of mouth. It was while in he was attending college that he played in clubs and watched other musicians play and formed a camaraderie with them. His friendly demeanor, laid back attitude, and intrinsic passion and understanding for playing music quickly made others feel enamored of him. His friendships led him to New York City in 1980 where he still resides today. Through word of mouth in the music community and his motivated playing, Golub became a member of Billy Squier’s band while Squier was peaking in the early ‘80s as an international rock star. Golub played on seven of Squier’s albums and played on three world tours as an axeman for Squier. But as Squier’s time in the spotlight waned, Golub was becoming a stronger player and began writing material for a solo album that would be released by Gaia Records in 1988 entitled Unspoken Words. Not entirely confident as a frontman, Golub resorted to being a background player for Rod Stewart from 1988 until 1995, performing on four albums and five world tours as well as being a part of Stewart’s live DVD One Night Only recorded at Royal Albert Hall.
It was while he played for Stewart that he met horn player Rick Braun who introduced him to percussionist Paul Brown and other jazz musicians. Braun, Brown and Golub would become long time friends and have a large presence on Golub’s solo work as musicians, producers and collaborators, but that’s stepping ahead. Throughout the mid to late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Golub recorded guitar parts for a number of high profiled recording artists including Tina Turner, John Waite, Vanessa Williams, Ashford & Simpson, Dar Williams, and Peter Wolf the lead singer for the J. Geils Band. Golub developed a reputation for being a highly proficient guitarist who knew how to make a song sound good. Eventually, he ceased relying on being a background player for other recording artists to keep him afloat and tried his luck again at recording his own songs when he formed his own band Avenue Blue in 1994 which included Rick Braun (trumpet/flugelhorn), David Palmer (drums), Kevin Savagar (keyboards), Jack Daro (acoustic bass), and Cliff Hugo (electric bass). The band’s eponymous debut album faired well with audiences of smooth jazz and new adult contemporary (NAC) radio formats. Avenue Blue would go on to record two more albums, Naked City in 1996 and Nightlife in 1997, all of which were released on Mesa Bluemoon/Atlantic Records. But Avenue Blue disbanded by 1998 and Jeff Golub set out on releasing a solo album Out Of The Blue in 1999 on Atlantic Records.
In 2000, Jeff Golub signed a three record deal with Verve Records that included Dangerous Curves in 2000, Do It Again in 2002, and Soul Sessions in 2003. His music was taking a more jazz improvisational sound and he wanted a record label that viewed him as a jazz-blues musician rather than as an adult contemporary artist. He moved to Narada Jazz/Blue Note Records in 2004 and released Temptation in 2005 and most recently Grand Central in 2007, both of which feature collaborations with Golub’s long time friends Rick Braun and Paul Brown. Produced by Golub, Grand Central features collaborations with Rick Braun (trumpet, flugelhorn), Kirk Whalum (saxophone), Philippe Saisse (piano), Richard Elliott (saxophone), Stephen Ferrone (drums), Mitchell Foreman (keyboards), Paul Brown (percussion), Nick Lane (trombone), and Luis Conte (percussion) to name a few. Golub has known many of these musicians since his days with Rod Stewart and friendships he made through his own band Avenue Blue.
The album is a giant jam session of like minded players as it was recorded with a live band in several recording studios throughout the New York City area. Named after New York City’s Grand Central railroad station, the album has come to depict the city to Golub and translates into his own life as a musician, which he explains in a press release, "Part of being a New Yorker is that you're in a state of constant communication with people. Sometimes words are spoken. Sometimes the communication is just a glance or an unspoken acknowledgement on a subway train, while in line at a newsstand or as you brush past someone in a corner grocer. I wanted this album to capture the constant communication between musicians: the sometimes overt dialogue as well as the subtle exchanges. I embrace living in New York City and I think Grand Central has got a real New York vibe to it."
Golub co-headlined the national Guitars & Saxes Tour with Gerald Albright, Kirk Whalum, and Tim Bowman through the spring and summer of 2007. He has also appeared on an episode of Smooth Jazz Television and recorded an intimate performance for Sirius Satellite Radio.
After being a integral part of so many pop artists music while in their peak, Jeff Golub is experiencing his own peak as a solo artist and feeling as thrilled about playing the guitar as he was when he was first started in his pre-teens back in Ohio.