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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Jeff Plankenhorn Unveils The Title Track From His New Album 'Alone At Sea'

By Pati deVries. Photo Credit: Todd Wolfson.

Jeff Plankenhorn is pleased to announce the release of his new single "Alone at Sea", the title track off of his 4th album, due September 29th via Blue Corn Music, and new tour dates have been announced.

Plankenhorn's songwriting, expressive vocals, and musicianship are front and center on Alone At Sea produced by Colin Linden (Bruce Cockburn, Keb Mo). Lyrically that exploration manifests in songs such as the title track, which poured out of Plankenhorn, aka Plank, so fast, he had to be convinced not to tamper with it. "Alone At Sea" is nestled between two of the album's many up-tempo tunes and envisions an adventurous soul who's searching for self-awareness and learns to appreciate solitude — as Plank has since moved to Canada's Vancouver Island freed him from his previously landlocked Austin, Texas existence. Plankenhorn explains that the song “Alone At Sea” is almost a stream of consciousness, a song I wrote combining the search for self-awareness and love for adventure. To find yourself alone but to be OK. But who will you leave behind?"

Born and raised in the midwest, Plank's musical travels began when his older brother gave Jeff his first guitar at age ten. Fast forward to his dropping out of college because his three bands (a bluegrass group, a hip-hop collective, and a 12-piece funk outfit) were doing so well. His musical journey led to Memphis and a chance meeting with Texas singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard – as well as to Plank's 20-year sojourn in the Lone Star state. The slide guitarists’ next level talent opened many doors leading Jeff to perform with the likes of of Hubbard and Joe Ely, Ruthie Foster, Bob Schneider, the late Jimmy LaFave, and others. In 2016, he officially launched a new chapter as a solo artist with the release of SoulSlide.

"His first solo album, 2003's Plank, included contributions by British-born Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer, the late Faces/Small Faces/Rolling Stones keyboardist Ian "Mac" McLagan — Jeff paid tribute to Mac on the Alone At Sea blues-rocker "Juggling Sand." Jeff paid tribute on the Alone At Sea song, blues-rocker "Juggling Sand." "I hope that someday I learn to play piano like him," says the too-modest Plank, whose luscious licks always get audiences moving when he reunites with his Purgatory Players’ partner, Scrappy Jud Newcomb. In fact, Newcomb shares writing credits on two songs: “Flat Tire,” a horns-of-a-dilemma, get-me-out-of-this-jam tale, and “Maybe It’s Not Too Late.” A favorite at the Purgatory Players’ weekly fundraising “pseudo-gospelish brunches,” the uptempo tune, full of tasty slide guitar and horn work, is a nod to Plank’s love of the sacred steel tradition born in African-American Pentecostal churches.

Though his live performances include shifts among piano, electric guitar, and his famed "Plank," the self-designed hybrid lap-steel guitar he plays standing up, "Maybe It's Not Too Late" is the only Alone At Sea track on which he plays it. Plank says that's because, when Linden heard the demos that he'd recorded with acoustic guitar and lap steel, the producer liked them so much he built his vision for the album around that sound. So, Plank concentrated on acoustic, while Linden contributed electric and 12-string acoustic guitars.

For Jeff Plankenhorn, there's nothing quite like the feeling of bringing people together to experience the joy music brings. He's so good at it that won an Austin Music Award, Best. Misc. Instrument and he received nominations for Musician of the Year, and Best Guitarist. In 2016-2017, he also earned Album and Song of the Year nominations for his album, SoulSlide, and the single, "Trouble Find Me.”

Listeners quickly get that Plank loves a good groove, but he’s also become quite accomplished at ballad-writing, as proven by two of the album’s other standouts, “Bluer Skies” and "You’ll Stay”. Still, despite his newfound love of solitude, for Jeff Plankenhorn, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of bringing people together to experience the joy music brings.

These days Plank happily finds himself on the road over 150 days a year. "I like the idea that people get uplifted at my shows, there are so many ways to get away from the hubbub of day-to-day living. Dancing is one of the more noble and effective, in my humble opinion. Better than any drug I’ve ever tried. I like the idea that everybody who walks in — I don't care if you're a biker or a drag queen — I want you there. Music is supposed to bring people together."


08.18 Campbell River, BC @ Spirit Square (trio) - 7pm

08.27 Courtenay, BC @ Simms Park (band)

09.07-09 Cody, WY @ Yellowstone Songwriter Festival (solo)

09.10 Billings, MT @ Craft Local (solo) - 6pm

09.14-16 Whitefish, MT @ Whitefish Songwriter Festival (solo)

09-19 = 09.21 Nashville, TN @ AMA Festival

09.20 Third & Lindsley (band - official showcase - 7pm

09.21 Love & Exile/Mule Kick & Devious Planet’s Rock ’n’ Roll Brunch 2:30PM

10.10 Grand Rapids, MI @ Rapids Brewery (solo)

10.11 Minneapolis, MN @ The Turf Club (solo) opening for Rum Ragged

10.12 Madison, WI @ Kiki’s House of Rightous Music (solo) - 8pm

10.13 WGN - TV live on-air performance - 11:45am

10.14 Berwyn, IL @ FitzGerald’s (solo) opening for Webb Wilder & The Beatniks - 8:30pm

10.15 Effingham, IL @ Village Wine “Sundays Fundays” (solo)

10.16 Lexington, KY @ Woodsongs (NPR) taping (solo)

10.18 Knoxville, TN @ WDVX’s Blue Plate Special (solo) - noon

10.19 Nashville, TN @ The Analog at The Hutton (solo)

10.20 Nashville, TN @ The Bluebird Cafe (solo) in-the-round w/tbd - 9pm

10.22 Austin, TX @ El Mercado w/The Purgatory Players

10.22 Austin, TX @ The Saxon Pub w/The Resentments

10.26 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Auditorium At Douglass (trio)

10.27 Greenville, TX @ Texan Theater (trio)

10.27 KWVH, Wimberley Valley Radio - on-air interview & performance - 10:15am

10.28 Temple, TX @ Cultural Activities Center (trio)

10.29 Austin, TX @ The Saxon Pub w/The Resentments - 7pm

10.30 KWVH, Wimberley Valley Radio - on-air interview & performance (solo) - 10:15am

10.31 Austin, TX @ The Saxon Pub - Dr. Plankenstein’s Halloween Horror Show

11.01 Austin, TX @ Guero’s/Texas Music Live (solo)

11.01 Good Day Austin - Morning TV

11.02 Houston, TX @ McGonigel’s Mucky Duck (solo) - 7pm

11.03 New Braunfels, TX @ The Redbird (solo) - 8:30pm

11.04 Austin, TX @ Stateside at the Paramount & The Saxon Pub present BIG AUSTIN RECORD RELEASE SHOW

11.05 Fulton, TX @ The Inn at Fulton Harbor (solo)

11.07 New Braunfels, TX @ Roots & Branches KNBT taping w/Ray Wylie Hubbard

11.12 Austin, TX @ The Saxon Pub w/The Resentments - 7pm

11.21 The Folk Project - free live online event - Tickets here - 7pm EST

11.30 Port Townsend, WA @ Rainshadow Recording (solo)

12.16 Austin, TX @ Klemm House Concert (solo)

12.17 Austin, TX @ The Center for Spiritual Living Central Texas (solo) - 11am

12.17 Austin, TX @ @ The Saxon Pub w/The Resentments - 7:30pm

12.18 Austin, TX @ El Mercado w/The Supper Club (solo)

12.20 Austin, TX @ Armadillo Christmas Bazaar (solo) - 2pm

01.11 Campbell River, BC @ Campbell River Theater (trio)

02.10 Santa Monica, CA @ McCabe’s Guitar Shop (solo) - supporting Robbie Fulks

03.15 La Grange, TX @ The Bugle Boy w/Michael O’Connor

03.16 Austin, TX @ Scarbourogh House Concert w/Michael O’Connor

03.17 Fischer, TX @ Devils Backbone w/Michael O’Connor - 1-4pm

03.17 Austin, TX @ The Saxon Pub w/The Resentments

03.19 Sun City, TX @ House Concert w/Michael O’Connor

06.20 Effingham, IL @ Moccasin Creek Festival/The Reel Marina (solo) - 4pm



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