Born and raised within earshot of the sprawling Chicago music scene, Jeff was a player in its ranks for over a decade. He got his start as half of the acoustic duo Carnival of Faith. The group released two CDs and was invited to contribute a track to premier acoustic venue Uncommon Ground’s compilation, Uncommon Ground Coffeehouse Sampler (Volume I).
Jeff kicked off his solo career with the art-folk CD, “Little Blue Record Player” (1997), touted by Chicago Reader’s Monica Kendrik to have “bite and funk and a sense of wonder”. Rough, raw and wonderful.it’s a collection of songs inspired largely by literature that is still being discovered by new fans of Jeff’s music. Altergott’s sophomore release was the hopeful melancholy that is “Icarus Grounded” (2000). It’s release prompted the Chicago Tribune to feature Altergott in its Artist Watch and then on their Metromix television program. The cut “Whiter than White” received accolades and airplay on WXRT’s Local Anesthetic. Halfway around the world, LinuxTag handpicked the title track for the first OpenSource music compilation CD, which has been released in Europe. Producers of Discovery Channel’s Outward Bound series licensed the tracks “Icarus Grounded” and “Holding Hands with a Leper” for episode soundtracks. Jeff’s latest musical offering, “Runt” (2004), is a collection of songs that are as driving as they are thought provoking while passing the speeding-down-the-highway-with-the-windows-rolled-down-sing-along test with flying colors. Quiet, reflective, rowdy and raucous, Runt satisfies true music lovers who long for the individual styling found in the likes of the Indigo Girls and Tom Waits.
In 2004, Altergott also made his debut as a producer on Nobody, et al’s Nothing, etc. album. The track “Far to Go” was picked up by Cringe for a compilation CD showcasing the best music in Ohio. Music and current regional tour dates can be found at Jeffinthebox.com.