“Bringing poetry to life, "Empty Swings," creatively composed by Jeff Callahan, brilliantly blends spoken word with jazz fusion. Each track features Callahan verbalizing life and nature with a voice that is soft and gentle. Callahan paints pictures with lyrics like "...wildly rummaging through buttoned halfway down clouds and in pot bellied raindrops smothering the haunted beating of your nightstand clock" on the track "Sweet Dreams Earth." Even though the album is focused around the spoken poems, the instrumental background deserves credit as the cast of musicians deftly perform with emotive tonality. For instance, listen as the sweet and tender electric piano and soulful saxophone cascade around the poetic words on “Slide, Slide, Slide.” "Empty Swings" gives a listener great imagery with its poetic words and is complemented by wonderful music making it an album well worth having.” - Matt M.
— Radio Indy
“Jeff Callahan is a talented poet. That fact cannot be denied.” - Carly Doenges
— Muzik Reviews
“Jeff Callahan is a singer songwriter from New Jersey, USA. Together with a big group of musicians, he recorded his second CD Woebegone after four years of heavy touring. He plays the acoustic guitar himself while other instruments such as violin, drums, flutes and other electric and, more or less, traditional instruments are played by the many guest musicians. To make it complete, he also has Kathy Phillips doing the female second vocals, a strong addition to Callahan's own, nice voice. I'm very surprised that this is a private pressing as the music could easily be issued on any major folk interested label . . . a good sound, positive atmosphere and strong compositions. Often the music has a light Celtic sound with a bit of Americana thrown in, but mostly it's straight and honest rock songs with a good traditional touch. Woebegone is a pleasure to listen to. Somehow, it makes me think back to the music of the Scottish band Runrig, although it's not the music that makes me write this but the fresh and open atmosphere which inspires me to draw this comparison. If you like an easy to listen to, friendly CD with a good mixture of folk and rock with some sideways to other styles, then this might be exactly what you are looking for” - Eelco Schilder
— Folk World CD Reviews
“Jeff Callahan's debut CD will have you searching the liner notes for source material, since most of the songs sound like Appalachian folk tunes resurrected off old Folkways records. They're not. Callahan has merely tapped into that emotionally raw sound that's the hallmark of America's most rooted of roots music. His songs have a spare touch, a thoughtful lyric quality, and that dark gothic edge that's found in classic American folk music.” - Wayne Thorpe
— The Star Gazette