|Born||April 23, 1973|
Worthington, Ohio, United States
|Genres||rock, Blues, soul, gospel blues|
|Instruments||Slide guitar, vocals, lap steel, mandolin, piano, upright bass|
|Labels||Spike Steel Records, Blue Corn Music|
|Associated acts||Resentments, Warren Haynes Band|
Jeff Plankenhorn (born April 23, 1973) is an American singer-songwriter of rock, folk and blues, music. Known as “Plank” to fans and friends, he is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and slide guitar virtuoso. His music combines a broad array of genres from rock and folk to blues, country, bluegrass, gospel, and soul.
Plankenhorn was born in Worthington, Ohio and began singing and playing the piano at age seven. His musical journey began as a boy soprano in church choirs, giving him a sense of community and a way of giving back.
Jeff’s older brother John  played a significant role in Plankenhorn’s musical evolution, encouraging Jeff to experiment with all types of music. John gave Jeff his first guitar at the age of ten. Plankenhorn mastered traditional acoustic and electric guitar styles, but the slide or steel guitar became his true love. He studied music theory and composition, and explored jazz, funk and classical music, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. In his 20s, he arranged horns in a 12-piece funk group and played guitar in a progressive bluegrass band.
Jeff followed his ambition to Nashville, learning from notable bluegrass artists Uncle Josh Graves, Gene Wooten and Jerry Douglas. Plankenhorn met Ray Wylie Hubbard on the street in Memphis at a Folk Alliance event in 1998. Jeff sat in with Hubbard that night on dobro, and soon had a long-term gig crashing on Hubbard’s couch in the Texas hill country. Austin became home in 2001.
A slide guitar virtuoso, Jeff spent his early career backing the likes of Hubbard and Joe Ely, Ruthie Foster, Gavin Degraw, Eliza Gilkyson, Bob Schneider and the late Jimmy LaFave. In 2016, he launched a new chapter as a solo artist.
In addition to being an accomplished singer-songwriter and all things strings musician, Plankenhorn created his own signature instrument — dobro-meets-lap-steel guitar — dubbed “The Plank.” The patented slide guitar, with a distinctive sound derived from the instrument's square neck and electric guitar body — netted Plankenhorn Austin Music Awards 2017 “Best Miscellaneous Instrument”. Jeff’s 2016 album, Soulslide features “The Plank”.
Jeff’s presence on stage combines a host of talents into a powerful whole. His soulful roots rock positions him among the best contemporary Americana songwriters. The vocal clarity and power developed in his early years is obvious in his vocals today. Jeff’s deep sense of community is evident in the Purgatory Players Gospel brunch, contributing 153,275 meals to the Texas Food Bank in 2019 and his fundraising efforts for the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians.
Plankenhorn's [latest release, Sleeping Dogs,] merges styles effortlessly, juxtaposing sweet-hearted anthems like “Love is Love” against ominous, weathered tunes like “Tooth & Nail”. Collaborations with Americana royalty, including “Holy Lighting” featuring a duet with Patty Griffin, are also standouts. Tying it all together is a big-heartedness that speaks to a worldly approach to Americana music.
The last few years have been a time of outstanding creativity and commercial breakthrough for Plankenhorn. Today, he lives half the year now living with his wife on Vancouver Island, Canada, where he spends his time writing and playing with their dogs. The other half he spends in Austin, where he remains in demand as a singer songwriter, session player, and producer. The success of his last two albums have brought international interest in his music.
- Plank (2003) : Blue Corn Music
- The Speed of Hope (2012) :
- Live at the Saxon Pub (2012) :
- Soulslide” (2016) :
- Sleeping Dogs (2018) : Spike Steel Records
Awards and honors
- 2017-2018 Austin Music Awards Best Miscellaneous Instrument – (Austin Music Awards)
- 2018 Black Fret Grant Recipient (Austin Music Awards)
- "Worthington Ohio".
- "Jeff Plankenhorn". April 10, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
- "LSM Video Premiere: Jeff Plankenhorn's "Sleeping Dogs"". Lone Star Music Magazine. March 12, 2018. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
- "Jeff Plankenhorn". April 10, 2010. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
- Mosely, Willie G. (October 1, 2016). "Jeff Plankenhorn New Innovations For Lap Steel". Retrieved March 11, 2020.
- "Miscellaneous Instrument: Jeff Plankenhorn (plank)". Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- "Essential 8: Jeff Plankenhorn". April 17, 2018. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- "Plank". CD Baby. 2003.
- "The Speed of Hope". 2012.
- "Live at the Saxon Pub". 2012.
- "Soulslide". 2016.
- "Sleeping Dogs". 2018.
- "Black Fret Announces 2018 Grant Recipients At The Fifth Annual Black Fret Ball". 10 December 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
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