Jeff Troxel
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Jeff Troxel

Cody, Wyoming, United States | INDIE

Cody, Wyoming, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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"November Sidewalk Review"

By Jennifer Layton

This is lovely. Jeff Troxel plays warm, earthy, tousled-haired music and sings lyrics of new age dreams combined with practical psychology. These songs soothe the heart and let the mind float to so many different places. The effect is so calming that it’s almost easy to overlook the intricacy of the arrangements. He makes it sound so easy. His fingers sound like they’re dancing lightly and quickly on the guitar strings.

Troxel opens with the sweet “Time For Moving On,” a song about listening to the voice inside your heart. His gentle vocal delivery actually gives him an air of authority on the subject. “Only the lost and brokenhearted stay behind when it’s time for moving on,” he points out, and I can’t argue with a voice that’s sort of Jackson Browne, sort of Gordon Lightfoot, sort of Dan Fogelburg. I wanted to follow that voice everywhere, and it took me to some mystical places. In “Joseph,” it took me to an ancient Biblical world in a deep canyon. In “New Destination,” it carried me along on the softly drifting carpet ride of a cello accompaniment (courtesy of John Kirk).

Troxel’s not the type to sit still for long, though. I love his guitar technique in the traditional flashbacks “Flowers of Edinburgh” and “Goodbye Liza Jane.” On both of these jaunty, fun tracks, the guitar sounds like it wants to be a banjo. (I actually checked the liner notes to see if that was a banjo.) Even the sad songs have a bit of spunk. “Sarah in the Sunrise,” with its toe-tapping tempo and mandolin and bass accompaniment, make aching, yearning, unrequited love sound uplifting.

Troxel can sail you away on a memory. He can whirl you across the floor. There’s energy in his guitar playing that seems fueled by the sheer love of music. I’m lucky I got to hear this one.
- Indiemusic.com


"November Sidewalk Review"

Jeff Troxel "November Sidewalk", 2004 Jeff Troxel plays guitar with a warm virtuosity that shows no trace of a virtuoso's self-consciousness. But guitar pickers will perk up when they hear this, and not just because Troxel is a 2003 National Guitar Flatpicking Champion. Why? In the rich blend of acoustic folk-style guitar, sly overtones of Pat Metheny and other interlopers abound. Troxel's singing voice is clear and charming, delivering great results on tracks like "New Destination". His topics reveal big-winter Wyoming roots in "Time for Moving On" and "Joseph". Troxel's instrumental compositions stretch slightly beyond guitar player melodies on the title cut, "November Sidewalk", with its haunting jazz inflections. And the record is superbly recorded. Bottom line, I can picture myself at a festival in shorts and sandals on an 80 degree day tapping my foot and digging this guy. Book him!
© Steve Klingaman

- Minor 7th


"November Sidewalk Review"

There is pure poetry in his lyrics – they are deeply personal but also universal. He has a natural gift for emotional virtuosity. His singing starts at the heart and beams out from there. And the playing is impeccable. This is a CD I will cherish for more reasons than one.” (Jack Reilly – composer, pianist, recording artist) - Jack Reilly


"November Sidewalk Review"

“If you are a fan of contemporary singer-songwriter music that is accompanied by great guitar work, you need to check out Jeff Troxel’s new CD, November Sidewalk.” (Dan Miller – Flatpicking Guitar Magazine) - Flatpicking Guitar Magazine


"Powell Tribune"

Jeff is possessed of wonderful technical skills and a refined sensibility, without pretense." (Chuck Hassler, Powell Tribune) - Powell Tribune


"Troxel Amazes with flatpick Guitar"

How many genres of music is it fair for one musician to excel in? One or two should be plenty. Apparently, Jeff Troxel’s allotted three – at least that’s how many I’m aware of.
That is, unless one counts his accomplishments as a composer; then he’s up to four. Let’s see, singer/songwriter, bluegrass, jazz, orchestral … then there’s his work with the Scottish fiddle group, Glynfiddle. I’m sure he’s played some rock ’n’ roll or country in his deep dark past as well.
Last Saturday night, the guitarist from Cody, Wyo., headlined with two sets at the Garage Pub at the Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co. He primarily showcased his talents as a singer songwriter, as well as an interpreter of other people’s songs. But he also wowed the crowd with his award-winning flat-picking guitar work.
Troxel played at the Garage Pub earlier this year and George Moncure of Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co. wanted to bring him back as soon as his schedule would allow.
He drew songs from his latest CD, “November Sidewalk,” like the hummable “Time for Movin’ On,” songs from his upcoming CD, like the title track, “Dancing in the Fire,” bluegrass instrumentals like the fast and fluid, “Goodbye Liza Jane,” and oldies-but-goodies like the ballad, “A Girl I Used to Know” (popular during the Civil War era).
Troxel assured that his next CD would be out soon, “Sometime in the 21st century.”
The crowd showed its appreciation with plenty of applause between songs, plus a glass of one of the featured microbrews brewed on location. “You know it’s a good gig when people will set a glass of beer in front of your mic stand during a song,” Troxel said.
Troxel displayed throughout the concert the skilled artistry and sheer mastery over the fretboard that led to his winning a national flat-picking guitar title in 2003. What sets him apart from many other amazing players is a concentrated and serious delivery that amazes fellow guitarists, while refraining from a flashy presentation that comes across as arrogance in many others at his level. He is a musician rather than a showman.
(Scott Prinzing - 09/06/2007) - Billings Outpost


"Dancing in the Flame"

Dancing in the Flame
Jeff Troxel

A review written for Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Jim Zimmerschied
(banjoz8@msn.com)

Jeff Troxel wasn't a name in music that I was familiar with. I have read some of his columns in Flat Pick Guitar Magazine. So as a reviewer I was expecting to find some fine flatpicking—which I did. But the main thrust of the album is Jeff's vocal ability and song writing. He has a splendid and soothing voice. He also writes some darn good songs.

The title song is about a horse rider's imagined journey that resolves into the reality of a wasted life. The journey includes several pleasant guitar interludes. Sand Coolie Road and Over the Waterfall are a couple other songs with a strong Chuck Pyle influence.

World Yet to Come paints a story of a young woman braving the border crossing to find a better life in the North. Her dangers and disappointments are brought to life in the song.

Jeff chose to sing a couple songs written by others: bluegrass standard Homestead on the Farm and folk/rock Green Hill Mountain Road. He also excels in instrumental pieces such as Bill Cheatham and Saint Anne's Reel. Jeff has some great help with Pete Huntlinger on banjo, nylon string guitar and mandolin. Also there is tasteful fiddle by Trevor Krieger. Jeff's guitar style is very smooth and flowing as he unfolds the tune.

This is the kind of album I like to have in the car when I am driving in the open plains of the West. It is comfortable but too well done to let you sleep.


Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)


- FAME (Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange)


"Jeff Troxel: Dancing in the Flame"

As a long-time contributor to FGM (with his “Sharpening the Axe” column), Jeff Troxel has dispensed information to help guitarists in almost every technical aspect of playing. For those readers only familiar with Jeff through this magazine, rest assured that his chops are bona fide. He’s a working musician making the rounds of festivals, guitar camps, and workshops; an academic on the faculty of at least two western colleges; and the 2003 National Flatpicking Champion. Dancing in the Flame is Troxel’s fourth CD, following his 2003 release November Sidewalk.

To the casual listener, Jeff’s skill on the fingerboard is most easily apparent on the CD’s instrumentals, whether familiar (“Bill Cheatham” and “Saint Anne’s Reel”) or original (“Little Brown Dog” and “Sand Coulee Reel”). It’s also easy to gloss over “Saint Anne’s Reel” or “Little Brown Dog” and be underwhelmed by the less-than-frenetic pace of the performance. “I’ve heard so-and-so do ‘St. Anne’s’ cleanly at 354 bpm,” you might say, and impatiently skip to another cut or even another disc. Doubtlessly you have, but you’ve just done yourself an acoustic disservice. Fast versions of “Saint Anne’s Reel” do more to demonstrate the skill of the guitarist than to exhibit either any artistic empathy with the melody or an awareness of the capabilities of the instrument. And on those two points—empathy and tonality—Troxel moves to the front of the pack. His version highlights the tune’s inherent melancholy and maximizes the guitar’s resonance. It’s a fresh treatment of a very familiar tune.

With that knowledge, relisten to “Little Brown Dog” or even the old chestnut “Bill Cheatham” and see more clearly what Jeff is doing artistically. Since Troxel overdubs rhythm and lead on “Bill Cheatham,” you get a sample of another key component of his style: rhythm guitar that supports and balances, but does not overpower. [In fact, it embodies the listening balance that Dan Miller talks about in his cover story for this issue.]

As is often the case, the greatest appreciation of Jeff’s stylistic finesse comes when you give a close listen to the rhythmic diversity he adds to any of the vocal tunes. Whether the lyrics appeal to you is outside of the scope of this review (although I personally liked the Bruce Springsteen-ish feel of “Sand Coulee Road” or the hints of Marty Robbins in “Diego”). In any case, don’t let lyrics stand in the way of a potential master class in rhythm guitar and tonal control.

But if all you’re looking for is the next 350 bpm version of “Green Mountain Hop,” move along. Give those who are interested in the art of the guitar some breathing space.
- FGM Magazine Vol14/No2


Discography

"Rising from the Plains" - a CD of original jazz compositions from my grad school days at USC.
"Glynfiddle" - a Scottish/Irish band I work with from time to time.
"November Sidewalk" - My debut album as a singer/songwriter.
"Dancing in the Flame" - Another recording of original songs and instrumental arrangements.
"Spirit of Our Time" - This project is a collaboration with my music partner Trevor Krieger. Trevor is a wonderful fiddler, mandolin player and singer.

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Bio

It’s hard for Jeff Troxel to remember a time when there wasn’t a guitar within reach for him to play. He learned to play chords and sing folk songs at his mother’s knee and by the time he was sixteen he was playing in the clubs and dance halls throughout the Rocky Mountains. That was the beginning of a long musical journey that has taken him from Boston to Los Angeles, and points between and beyond.

Troxel graduated summa cum-laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston, and several years later earned a masters degree in guitar performance from the University of southern California, graduating with honors and earning an induction into Pi Kappa Lambda, the national music honor society.

Over the years Troxel has developed into a prominent guitarist, composer and songwriter, performing and touring with some of the world’s finest musicians. The list includes Ronnie Bedford, Warren Chiasson, Sonny Wilkenson, Bobby Shew, Frank Mantooth, Jack Reilly, James Naughton, Chris Merz, Mike Dowling, Pete Huttlinger and many others. In 2003 Troxel won the celebrated title of National Flatpicking Champion at the Walnut Valley Festival after winning state championships in both Wyoming and Utah.

His original music has won awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association and the John Lennon Song Contest, and he has twice been awarded a Performing Arts Fellowship in Composition from the Wyoming Arts Council.

Both his performance and composition skills are showcased on Troxel’s several recordings. "Rising from the Plains" is a CD of original jazz compositions recorded with the University of Southern California’s premier jazz combo Elf. "November Sidewalk" and "Dancing in the Flame" are two of his recordings that showcase more of his singer/songwriter side. These recordings have brought collaborations many with other musicians, including Chuck Pyle and Pete Huttlinger.

Most recently Jeff has been collaborating with a gifted young fiddler named Trevor Krieger. They released the recording "Spirit of Our Time" in the summer of 2011 and have been performing together in concerts and festivals for the past several years.

In addition to maintaining a busy performing schedule, Troxel is on the faculty at Central Wyoming College in Riverton Wyoming, Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming, and Rocky Mountain College in Billings Montana. He also writes columns for Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, and Mel Bay’s online magazine Guitar Sessions. He has published several books for guitar, the most recent titled Flatpicking up the Neck for Mel Bay Publications.