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New in town

After nearly a decade living in Sydney, Australia, singer and songwriter Jeff Stanley moved to Ashland in July primarily to be closer to family. After he arrived, he also discovered the area had a market for musicians. A well-rounded guitarist, Stanley quickly secured a position in Ashland's newly formed funk band LOVEBITE and country-rock band The Stamps. However, both bands take second place after his solo, acoustic project.

Stanley solos regularly at The Wild Goose Cafe, where he will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30.

Although born in Ohio, Stanley was raised in Tanzania, where he attended an international school. At school, he was introduced to children from Sweden, England, Africa and America, as well as to a diverse range of music.

"It didn't help that my parents listened to Bach, Fleetwood Mac and African pop styles," he says.

He started studying guitar at age 16 and later attended the Grove School of Music and Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles before moving to Australia in 2003 to teach and play.

"I play straight blues and roots and sometimes reggae, jazz, funk and hip-hop," says the musician, struggling to assign his music to any one genre.

Stanley plays lots of originals with "positive, introspective" lyrics as well as covers by prominent guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry and Robben Ford.

Stanley's sixth album, titled "Doorways," is scheduled for release early next year. He compares the album's unpretentious melodies to those of Jack Johnson, Martin Sexton and Dave Matthews.

Besides gigging and recording, Stanley has written several pieces for television shows, commercials, documentaries and films. In 1995, he also had the privilege of performing at Courteney Cox and David Arquette's wedding in San Francisco.

In the early '90s, Stanley and 4,000 other guitarists auditioned to replace John Frusciante as lead guitarist in Red Hot Chili Peppers. Stanley says he received a call back but nothing more.

"It felt good to be able to try out for a band of that caliber," he says.

There is no cover to Stanley's show at The Wild Goose. Call 541-488-4103 or see www.jeffstanley.net.

Jeff Stanley says his forthcoming album 'Doorways' sounds a little bit like Jack Johnson, Martin Sexton and Dave Matthews. - Photo by Denise Stanley