The pursuit of individual style and substance within the singer-songwriter genre continues to elude many who try, but fail to capture their own inner voice while seeking to be the next big thing. Just as the runt of a litter can quietly steal the heart of passers by from the chorus of his larger, noisier brothers; so does Jeffrey Altergott's style and soul reach out to touch the oft forgotten hero and artist in us all. That is precisely the sentiment behind this 36 year old's latest musical offering, Runt; a collection of songs that are as driving as they are thought provoking while passing the speeding-down-the-highway-with-the-windows-rolled-down-sing-along test with flying colors. Quiet, reflective, rowdy and raucous, Runt satisfies true music lovers who long for the individual styling found in the likes of the Indigo Girls and James Iha coupled with the sheer vocal joy of artists like John Mayer and Duncan Sheik. Born and raised within earshot of the sprawling Chicago music scene, Jeff was a player in it's ranks for over a decade. First, teaming up with Jill Idle in the acoustic duo Carnival of Faith. The group released two CDs and was invited to contribute a track to premier acoustic venue Uncommon Ground's compilation, Uncommon Ground Coffeehouse Sampler (Volume I). Jeff kicked off his solo career with the art-folk CD, Little Blue Record Player (1997), touted by Chicago Reader's Monica Kendrik to have 'bite and funk and [a] sense of wonder'. Rough, raw and wonderful...it's a collection of songs inspired largely by literature that is still being discovered by new fans of Jeff's music. Jeff's sophomore release was the hopeful melancholy that is Icarus Grounded. It's release prompted the Chicago Tribune to feature Altergott in it's Artist Watch and then on their Metromix television program. The cut 'Whiter than White' received accolades and airplay on WXRT's Local Anesthetic. Halfway around the world, LinuxTag handpicked the title track for the first OpenSource music compilation CD, which has been released in Europe. Producers of Discovery Channel's Outward Bound series licensed the tracks 'Icarus Grounded' and 'Holding Hands with a Leper' for episode soundtracks. On stage, Altergott's energy swirls about the crowd like a whirlpool with an undercurrent that is as strong as it is irresistible. The strength of his live performance earned him a place in Chicago's annual Jeff Buckley tribute concert in 2000, honoring the transcendent hero with artists from across the country. Between July of 2000 and the present, Jeff relocated to Columbus, OH, built a recording studio, engineered and produced the first full length CD by Nobody, et al, studied jazz and blues guitar, bought a banjo, bought a bass, bought an electric guitar, wrote and recorded songs for his new release. Needless to say he hasn't been getting out much. That's all about to change. This summer, Jeff is releasing Runt. 'I'm back, I'm happy and after 15 years of having one foot in the world of music and the other in corporate America, I've chewed off my corporate leg and am giving my craft the attention it's been craving all these years. If I'm going to make a splash as a songwriter and performer, let it be now.'
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