Jeffrey Altergott
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Jeffrey Altergott

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Singer/songwriter Jeffrey Altergott comes from the same GLBT Chicago music scene that is home to OutMusic Award winners Scott Free and Dylan Rice. The “passion and desire� he sings about in opening track “Brothers Beautiful� (featuring the stunning cello work of Catarina VanEpps) from his latest album “Don’t Be a Stranger� ( burns brightly throughout the disc. From the dizzying “Thank You� and playfully erotic “Kickstand� to the domestic bliss of “Every Day is a Reason� and the unraveling of “Undone,� Altergott continues to be an artist to watch and admire. Even his cover choices, lovely acoustic readings of “Over the Rainbow� and his own “Breakneck Speed,� are worth mentioning.

Gregg Shapiro - Chicago Free Press

Emotive and heartfelt, singer-songwriter Jeffrey Altergott’s music expresses intensely personal sentiments in an acoustic-guitar-based format on his latest, Don’t Be A Stranger. Though he enlisted a few special guests for these sessions, Altergott and his guitar are the focus, especially his smooth vocal delivery, which ups the listenability quotient quite a bit. His songs speak from his heart and are successful at what they are trying to do. Especially snappy is Altergott’s cover of “Over The Rainbow,� which takes the song in a fun folk-pop direction.

Mike O’Cull - Illinois Entertainer


Icarus Grounded (2000),
Runt (2004),
Don't Be a Stranger (2007)



NOTE: see photos for referenced images

Yep, that's me in the photos up there. You can see when this all got started. Back then I was really more interested in listening to music than playing it. My aunts gifted me a collection of Billboard's top ten 45s dating from 1962 to 1966 and I would listen to them all day long on my little suitcase record player. It wasn't until I was thirteen that I purchased my first guitar and started to take lessons.

In high school, I set out to learn every Rush song ever written. I loved them and only them. Though, I did have a brief affair with Blue Oyster Cult before leaving for college. There, I became friends with a DJ at our school's radio station. He introduced me to the music of The Smiths, The Cure, R.E.M and Laurie Anderson. I was so taken with all this new music, I even started DJing at the station and co-fronted an alt-rock cover band.

The road from playing Alex Lifeson guitar licks to being a singer-songwriter who sounds more like a hopeful Elliot Smith than Robert Smith has been a fun ride. The focus on acoustic music and songwriting happened in the early 90's when I discovered the music of the Indigo Girls and Tracy Chapman. I became ravenous for anything in this genre and traded in my Les Paul for an acoustic guitar.

It wasn't until I saw Jeffrey Gains open for Melissa Etheridge at the Chicago Theater that I heard my calling. He was just one man with a guitar captivating an audience with his songs and I knew then what I wanted to do.

Since then, I have performed mostly as a solo act, though my first two releases Icarus Gounded (2000) and Runt (2004) featured predominantly full band arrangements. My new CD, Don't Be a Stranger, is an acoustic collection of songs intimately performed to be more reminiscent of my live shows. I strived to create an experience that removes the barrier between artist and listener - where we're just hanging out and I happen to be the guy with the guitar.

Anything else you want to know, just call...seriously. (773) 532-9423