Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers has combined his twin passions for words and music into a multifaceted career as a musician, author, and teacher. He is a grand prize winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, the founding editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine, and author of The Complete Singer-Songwriter and the new lesson book/video Beyond Strumming. Based in upstate New York, he has been a Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist and finalist (with his duo Pepper and Sassafras) for Best Duo at FreshGrass. (more)
Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, grand prize winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, teams up with multi-instrumentalist Wendy Sassafras Ramsay in this dynamic acoustic duo. Rodgers delivers masterful band-in-a-box guitar work while Ramsay, harmonizer extraordinaire, adds flute, clarinet, guitar, accordion, and her quirky originals to the mix. Based in upstate New York, the two musicians were finalists for Best Duo at FreshGrass. They’ve performed widely in the Northeast at venues including Club Passim, Ripton Community Coffee House (Vermont), Stolz Listening Room (Maryland), and the Turtle Hill Folk Festival. (more)
The Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers Band plays deep-grooving acoustic rock, creating an extraordinarily varied sound with all acoustic instrumentation and rich vocal harmonies. Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers, the band’s main songwriter and lead guitarist, is a grand prize winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the founding editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine. Wendy Sassafras Ramsay, songwriter and harmonizer extraordinaire, adds flute, clarinet, guitar, accordion, and her quirky originals to the mix. Josh Dekaney, whose credits range from Brazilian music to jazz to jam bands and appearances with Aretha Franklin and Wilco’s Glenn Kotche, performs on a one-of-a-kind percussion kit. Joining this core trio at select shows is versatile bass/saxophone player Jason Fridley. (more)
Click the image to view or save the hi-res file. Additional photos are available here.
Click here for a full video gallery including solo, duo, and band performances as well as lessons and interviews.
Additional tracks are available for embedding on Bandcamp.
- Boston Globe feature on JPR’s Grateful Dead guitar workshops (watch the video below)
- Rutland Herald Pepper and Sassafras profile
- Syracuse New Times feature on JPR’s career as a musician, writer, and teacher
- Finale blog interview
Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers’ songs ring true and new. Spot-on work from an American wordsmith.
“Deft commentary…a call to be ornery but sympathetic—cautionary but optimistic.”—Kenneth Pattengale, the Milk Carton Kids (more)
“Folk music with a serrated edge… A magical blend of storytelling, driving flattop guitar, and earthy percussion.” —Andy Ellis
“JPR may be the quintessential acoustic singer-songwriter, but he colors with a full palette of folk, rock, blues, and soul.”—NYS Music (more)
“Jeffrey is a great guitar player. Sensitive and strong, and makes it look deceptively easy.”—Dan Bern
“There are musicians…and then there is Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers. With an already impressive résumé that includes a John Lennon Songwriting award, being a founding editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine and a regular contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered, Rodgers still passionately works to move his chosen art forward.”—WCNY Connected
“Having come to appreciate the art of songwriting while living in Nashville, I realized the difference between a writer, an artist, and an entertainer. Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers is one of those unique talents who manages to embrace all three. Unlike so much of pop culture, the lyrics to his original music clearly come from his heart and soul; his mastery of the guitar is a work of art; and his attentiveness and interaction with the audience is warm and genuine.”—Mark Kaufman, Evening of Story & Song, Fernandina Beach, Florida
“Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers sure can play the music—listen to his ‘Stella Blue’ and you’ll know what I mean. Better still, he can teach it.”
—Dennis McNally, author, A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead