Under the supervision of his physicians, contemporary singer-songwriter Jeff Black today announced the cancellation of all remaining 2018 performances. This past May, Black posted a statement about his battle with severe chronic lower lumbar pain as a result of genetics that read in part, “About everything you can have wrong with your lower back, I’ve got it. Spinal stenosis, scoliosis, degenerative disc disease – it goes on and on. It’s a long list and it’s been coming on for years. I had to stop standing to perform as a result of the pain. I started sitting to perform as my condition progressed, but that’s not possible anymore. The universe has a clever way of reminding us that this world was built on change. So here’s the new world for me, for now.” The award-winning singer/songwriter tours widely most recently in support of his album, Folklore.
Black has been a respected and celebrated influence on modern folk and roots music for nearly three decades, with Boston’s WUMB voting him ‘One of the Top 100 Most Important Folk Artists of the Last Quarter Century’. His music has earned Grammy recognition, chart-topping stats and numerous BMI awards, and appeared in several indie-film soundtracks. Jeff’s songs have been recorded by artists that include Alison Krauss & Union Station, Waylon Jennings, BlackHawk, Dierks Bentley, Jon Randall, John Oates, Jerry Douglas and Sam Bush. A master storyteller, modern troubadour and pioneering performer of the digital age – with groundbreaking podcasts such as Black Tuesdays – Black’s ten albums and much-admired live performances led No Depression to write, “His words and voice hold down center stage with a craft so deeply in the pocket that it obscures anything outside.”
“I’m working to avoid major spinal surgery and am refusing opioid pain management,” Jeff says today. “The potential complications that go with this kind of surgery could be disastrous, and the dangers of opioids scare the hell out of me. I’ve lost dear friends and collaborators to opioid addiction, including gifted songwriter and musician Jay Bennett who struggled with chronic pain for years in search of an answer. When Jay died in 2009 of an accidental fentanyl overdose, it broke my heart. There are alternatives and real support out there, and that’s what I’m searching for. With the help of my doctors and a different approach to pain management, I hope to return to some normalcy, the road and my life’s work as soon as humanly possible.”