It wasn’t until five years ago that local singer and songwriter, Jeff Letourneau, picked up a guitar for the first time.
“One night, I woke out of a deep sleep with some things weighing heavy on my mind, so walked over to a guitar that was left to me by an old friend and wrote my first song.” Before that night, Jeff didn’t know any chords on the guitar, yet he picked it up, began to strum, and wrote his first song called, “Chosen Ones.”
“After that, I really took an interest in playing and writing music, and I began to teach myself by watching other local musicians in town.”
Jeff has written several more songs, all of which are very story driven. “I like to write songs based on hundreds of my experiences and the experiences of people around me.” “Twelve Steps,” a song featured on his debut EP, is about a time Jeff took a friend struggling with addiction to an AA meeting. “This song touches so many people. Every time I play it at a show, people come up and record it to send to their friends and family.” It has quickly become his most requested original song.
Other songs like “Cadillacs Make Me Cry,” a song about heartbreak with some comedic relief, will also be on his debut EP. “This song is about a guy who breaks down every time he sees a Cadillac because he remembers the woman who broke his heart.”
Music plays a big role in his Jeff’s life. His influences are mostly country singers.
“The artists who most influenced me are Johnny Cash, Jimmy Buffet, Garth Brooks, Willie Nelson, Kenny Chesney, but my singing and writing style is more Merle Haggard, Don Williams, James Taylor.”
Although Jeff hasn’t been playing music long, he always loved country music. “Mom and dad used to listen to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio.” That was where Jeff’s love of country music truly began. “I remember one night, my dad brought the local bar band home and they set up in the living room of our old wood house. All us kids thought it was so cool sitting in our underwear, after midnight, listening to live country music show.”
Jeff is currently working on his debut EP with award-winning producer, Andy Anderson. Scheduled for release in 2016, it includes six of Jeff’s original songs.
STORY: Brooke Robles PHOTO: Fred Lopez