Jeff Plankenhorn: From Austin, TX to Folk School Coffee Parlor

Jeff Plankenhorn is a singer songwriter with nearly two decades worth of musicianship under his belt. I had the pleasure of having a conversation with Jeff through email and he said he, “Started singing in church at the tender age of 7, and began playing piano at the same time, and then guitar at age 10.” To say that he would be doing anything else is quite simply not true. Jeff is a lifer. He has dedicated his life to the music, and that passion and dedication shines through. With three critically acclaimed solo albums for him to tote around with him, and the backing of various friends in and around Nashville and the like.

Jeff’s big brother, John has probably been his biggest influence musically. His brother, who continues to compose avant garde chamber music out of Sydney, Australia, taught him to believe that Jeff could play anything he wanted to, as long as he left enough time to sit down and practice. That practice put in at a young age paid off, as Jeff has played with the likes of fellow Texans Ray Wylie Hubbard and Joe Ely, and with blues and soul artist Ruthie Foster and Malford Milligan. Jeff does not hold himself to a specific style. If given the opportunity, Jeff could give you a vast array of music listening from Bluegrass, Americana, roots, soul, rock, and folk.

With his dobro in toe Jeff is currently on tour, and will be stopping at Folk School Coffee Parlor in Ludlow, KY this Friday and Saturday for a couple workshops and a performance on Saturday.

This will be held at a new venue and coffee parlor aptly named: Folk School Coffee Parlor. It is ran by the husband and wife duo of Mary Williams and Katfish (Matt) Williams. Whom some may recognize from The Whispering Beard Folk Festival as one of its directors. As well as partner, Casey Campbell who is the percussionist and vocalist for Buffalo Wabs & The Price Hill Hustle. With these three at the helm, The Folk School has been making some waves. They officially opened in November with Ramblin' Jack Elliot having the first performance, and Arlo McKinley (SOLD OUT!) in December. They have had various workshops with local musician’s such as Mike Oberst (The Tillers), Jake Book, Mamadrones, Jon Doll (The Part Time Gentlemen), and many more to come. Then there is the coffee in which the beans are provided by locals, Deeper Roots Coffee. I have had a few lattes and it is delicious to say the least. They also provide vegan grahams from another local baker Grateful Grahams, again delicious.

Mary, Kat, and Casey and some friends worked really hard to put this together. They converted an old doctor’s office into Folk School Coffee Parlor, and they did one excellent job.

Jeff will be conducting a few workshops the first one will be on Friday the 23rd which is; Studio Musician 101- “What you need to know to succeed as a studio musician”. Then on Saturday the 24TH, he will be conducting two workshops; “Bluegrass/Americana Dobro” - Saturday 11am (90min), and “Experimental Lap Steel” at 2pm (90min), and that evening of January 24TH he will be performing in the coffee parlor.  Seating is limited to 40 people, so get your tickets sooner than later.

Doors open at 7pm show begins at 8pm tickets are $12. You can get your tickets by visiting the Folk School Coffee Parlor either in person or online at

This will be a performance not to miss. The caliber of musician that Jeff is coupled with the intimacy of The Folk School will make for an evening, and if you feel so inclined, a day of music that will hopefully leave you fulfilled and content.

I asked Jeff the question I like to ask every musician that I do this for: Why music? He replied, “ I am a lifer. Music as a child in church was how I first felt a sense of belonging, and that I could maybe even make people feel better. Since then it has been all I do. Never really flirted with anything else, and thankfully I’ve never had to.”


Our Weekend Picks :: January 23, 2015 

Each week we will highlight a few of our picks for the weekend. Some may be local, some may not, but as long as you are seeing live music in Cincinnati you are contributing! Our picks are below, but you can choose for yourself with our calendar here. (Or download our iPhone...