Jeff Mitchell's songs are flashes of memory, emotion, and dry humor. His raw approach to fingerstyle guitar shifts from the pedestrian to the uncannily bent with little warning. His live shows have earned him a reputation for emotional intensity, lyrics that silence a room, and the occasional barnburner freakout.
Mitchell is a native of rural Minnesota transplanted to Milwaukee. His time spent living in small towns is essential to his songs and is obvious to listeners from out of the way places. He is a lifelong devotee of early music and singing old country songs passed down in his family. He also came of age in some gloriously ragged garage bands. Over the past 20 years or so, his interests in writing and experimentation have grown to combine his portraits of midwestern life with a strange undercurrent of dark, electronic psychedelia.
Jeff is perhaps best known as collaborator with others. As a founding member of Field Report, he spent two years in the arranging, recording, and subsequent intense touring behind the group's debut album. Mitchell is also known for his live work with Duluth fingerpicker Charlie Parr, a decade-long and very deep relationship with a collective of rock and folk musicians in Oshkosh, WI, and formative work with a group of close friends in Northeast Iowa including bassist/mandolinist Erik Berry, now of Trampled By Turtles. Most recently, Jeff has been performing with the instrumental trio, Dryhouse Ruins, with Damian Strigens (ex. Field Report, Testa Rosa) and Jim Warchol (Death Blues).
While Jeff may remain obscure as a solo artist, he continues to build a body of work which resonates very deeply with certain people. His songs are stark in their honesty and vulnerability but filled with an eerie beauty revealed by careful listening.