Jeff Preston is playing your song... Occasionally a song comes along that feels like it was written specifically for you at this moment in your life. You don't know the songwriter from Adam, but he seems to know everything short of your social security number. Jeff Preston, on his EP Goodbye July, shows an uncanny knack for being that songwriter. As he admits, 'I scold myself with my lyrics. It's a way to kinda kick myself in the ass and get moving in the right direction. But they hit some people really hard.' On 'Consider Yourself Warned' and 'Shortchange' Preston gives it straight and simple - frank, direct lyrics spread over quick beats and gently weaving guitars. The melodies are concise and subtly stunning. 'Consider Yourself Warned' rides a guitar/vocal call and response while 'Shortchange' hangs back a bit, building to an empowering climax. The clear message of each recalls a special friend who's there to help you through but will tell you when you're full of it. As any Oprah-approved pop psych book will say, aggressive truth telling can be a defense mechanism. Preston's lyrics seem to mask what could be a well hidden emotional car wreck. Opener 'Like This' finds him daring fate as layers of fuzzed-out guitars accentuate this pained admission that he let himself be taken for a ride. Self-chastising turns to longing on the achingly beautiful title track, 'Goodbye July.' 'I first start thinking about summer's end in late July. I get all emotional and spend August trying to savor every last bit of it because I know it will be gone soon.' Wistful memories of a crumbling relationship fade into rich harmonies blown away in a windy echo. Though 'Goodbye July' marks an end of the innocence, it feels as much like a moment of discovery. Too often singer/songwriters use studio wizardry to hide average songs. But by then it's too late. The real work should be done before the recording begins. Preston has a very different approach to his music - keep it simple, keep it genuine. Every song on Goodbye July is pure, direct and brutally honest, but open enough to allow listeners in. People listen, connect, and understand. His music means something to singer/songwriter fans because it actually means some thing. ************ Jeff Preston was frontman and a principle songwriter in nationally touring act JEL from 1996-2001. JEL received Billboard Magazine's BUB honor and went on to Showcase at some of New York and Los Angeles's most notable venues such as The Viper Room, Mercury Lounge, Arlene Grocery and The Troubadour. Jeff's voice can also be heard on several television series as JEL landed music on MTV series like Live Through This and Undressed and NBC Daytime. Jeff has also fronted JEL at sponsored appearances at CMJ, NXNW, IMF & EAT-M. Jeff plays drums, guitar and sings on Goodbye July. He has played drums behind jazz musicians like Clarke Terry & Bobby Shue and has opened up for artists such as The Violent Femmes, Jamiroquai, 5 For Fighting, Billy Mann & Cyril Neville.
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