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Jeff Mellin

Beantown singer-songwriter Jeff Mellin grew up in the sleepy Massachusetts hamlet of Reading. It was a cloistered upbringing that eventually inspired him to flee the suburbs for the city, where he became a bohemian. The city was supposed to be New York, but it turned out to be New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he attended Rutgers and became an intellectual. Later he returned to Boston and became a bohemian, intellectual musician. First he fronted a retro pop band called the The Eddies, then eventually ventured out as a diverse solo musician. He's an accomplished talent whose adventuresome fare veers from literate Bob Dylan-esque folk rants to dusty '90s alt-country to bouncy, blue-skied jangle-pop.

Mellin introduced his solo talents to the world in 1999 with an ambitious two-part album entitled Jeff Mell!n Saves the World. Part One features Mellin playing ringing folk-tinged pop occasionally reminiscent of the The Byrds with the help of a number of local musicians, including members of the Willard Grant Conspiracy, The Oscillators, and The Eddies. Part Two finds Mellin in a darker, bluesier mode, backed by Boston band Slide. As you might guess, the tight, bouncy pop song "Lever Big Enough to Move the World" comes from Part One, while the loose, improvisational, smoky "Oh-No, Joey Tussaud" comes from Part Two.

On his sophomore follow-up, Mellin, backed by a great ensemble called The Midnight Cowboys, again indulges his taste for folky and quirky pop. "Oh Possum!" is a bluesy barroom stomper with some boozy yowling and lots of harmonica; "Lake Erie" (the album's next track) is its polar opposite, a minimal, melancholy folk song showcasing Mellin's dusky voice and finger-picked guitar. By turns rollicking and laid-back, Good for a Gander features a hint of Merseybeat, a taste of California sunshine pop, a dash of Americana, and a whole lot of Jeff Mellin.

In his spare time, Jeff Mellin runs Stereorrific Recordings with his brother Joel, a member of The Oscillators.