Jeff Golub, a respected jazz, blues and rock guitarist and bandleader who worked with the likes of Rod Stewart, Tina Turner and Billy Squier, passed away January 2 at the age of 59.
Though no clear cause of death has been reported, Rolling Stone is reporting that the guitarist suffered a wide variety of health set-backs in recent years, including a rare disorder known as progressive supranuclear palsy.
Golub was born in Copley, Ohio in 1955. He began to play the guitar at the age of 12, eventually falling in love with the blues before attending the Berklee Colllege of Music. In 1980, he began to work with Billy Squier, with whom he would go on to release seven highly popular arena rock albums while touring extensively. After parting ways with Squier, Golub became an in-demand session player for the likes of Tina Turner, Peter Wolf, Vanessa Williams and Bill Evans.
He began his solo music career in earnest with the release of Unspoken Words in 1988. As fortune would have it, this was also the year that Rod Stewart invited Golub to join his band full time. The working relationship between the two lasted from 1988-1995, at which point Golub left to focus again on his solo career. With a self-titled release from his new group Avenue Blue, he managed to garner serious respect from smooth jazz circles.
The guitarist recorded steadily throughout the remainder of his life, despite numerous health problems. For instance, he lost his site around 2007, though he claimed, “It’s opened up my ears, and I hear things more acutely now. It’s put me more in touch with my feelings and with my public. My audience has been incredibly supportive.”
A benefit concert has already been planned to help raise funds on behalf of the musician’s family. The benefit will feature Koz, Christopher Cross, Chuck Loeb and Kirk Whalum at B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill on January 21.