Jeff McDonald grew up in the golden era of 1960s/’70s acoustic performers and writers. He was first influenced by groups like the Kingston Trio, all of whom became great personal friends, and also the Chad Mitchell Trio. This then grew into the singer/songwriters of the era, with writers like Gordon Lightfoot, John Stewart, Jim Croce, Ian Tyson, Don McLean, Bob Seger, and Paul Simon becoming heavy influences. Growing up in the early ’70s Chicago folk scene, Jeff knew and hung out with Steve Goodman and John Prine.
Over the years, Jeff began branching out into other forms of music, including country, rock, standards, and Motown. It also led him to begin writing songs himself (about 70 so far).
These days, he does a dance-friendly, one-man oldies show, playing and singing to over 800 backing tracks of every genre from the ’50s through the ’80s. He has recorded a number of solo albums at Sweetwater, including The Great Road, Wolves in the Kitchen, Palm Trees and Honky Tonks, My What A Pair, and Rivers of Light: The Amazing Songs of John Stewart. He also records and performs Americana music in a duo with friend and playing partner Mark Thacker (see separate listing).
He has shared the stage over the years as an opening act for such notables as the Kingston Trio, the Limeliters, John Stewart, Nanci Griffith, Rosanne Cash, Steve Goodman, Peter Tork, Noel Paul Stookey, Tom Paxton, Sally Fingerett, and Pat Alger.