Ashland guitarist's new album captures a rich sound

Jon Galfano has created a different sound for his new album, "Five Crowns."

"It's a deep, ambient sound that I have been developing for electric acoustic guitar," Galfano says. "It's featured on a number of pieces on the album, including 'French Countryside' and 'Changes In The Wind.' I'm always looking for that next step forward, creatively, and that's what 'Five Crowns' is all about."

Galfano used a number of guitars to record songs on the new CD. It's a combination of electric acoustic guitar — acoustic guitar fitted with a pickup — 12-string guitar, solid body — or electric — guitar and glass bottle slide guitar.

"The electric acoustic guitars are a nice alternative to the solid bodies," Galfano says. "I also use a technique that I picked up while listening to Duane Allman in the early '70s. It sounds like Southern blues, but it's electrified. I love it. It's on the title cut and on 'Frivolous.' "

Galfano also does slide work on a solid body guitar for the tune "AtTheBreakOfDay."

"It's a sound that is perfect for a deep, slow-moving piece," Galfano says.

"Five Crowns" contains 13 pieces of rich, original material written and performed by Galfano. It is primarily a solo album with a few multi-tracked compositions, though many of the tracks sound as if there's more than one guitar.

"The sound catches the ear of the listeners," Galfano says. "It's a little different than what everyone else is doing."

"Five Crowns" is Galfano's ninth album. He has recorded compositions for guitar and piano, constantly recording new material at his studio.

"The last three albums have been guitar albums, which is the stronger instrument for me," Galfano says.

He started recording in 1978 with bands that he worked with while living in the Midwest.

"When I began working as a musician, I tried to establish myself as a singer-songwriter, such as Jackson Browne or Glenn Frey," Galfano says. "But I've found over the years that my audiences like instrumentals and that there's a wonderful market for instrumental work, whether piano, guitar, solo or multi-track."

Galfano recorded his first full-length album, "Appearance," in 1982. It featured keyboards and vocals. "Five Crowns" and Galfano's other guitar-based CDs, "Cascadia" and "Simple Man," follow four consecutive keyboard-based albums.

Galfano is originally from Southern Wisconsin, where he took his first piano lesson at 7 and experienced the Beatles on American television in 1964. He began performing as a lead guitarist for rock acts and opened shows for bands such as Foghat, Styx, Grass Roots and Doctor Hook.

Now Galfano makes his home in the Rogue Valley and makes scattered appearances.

"I like performing at storefronts where I can sell my CDs, and I enjoy performing at regional wineries," he says.

"Five Crowns" and other CDs by Galfano are available at the Music Coop in Ashland and at, along with his upcoming shows.

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