About Jeffrey Backus
Growing up surrounded by music, he soon developed a strong adoration for it.
At an early age he learned to play guitar, and started singing at School events and private Parties.
In his teens he started drawing attention whilst performing at a Christmas show of a local Munich Football club in front of an audience of about 500 people.
This first stage experience got him „hooked“, so he practiced even more.
In 1983, at the age of 13 he was called to sing along with other youths for the TV-Series “Blut und Ehre (“Blood & Honor”). In 1985 he joined the Band “Los Tornados” as the youngest member. The band had just been reformed, and Jeffrey played the guitar and sang. He was also given a Solo set during the shows, where he would perform Rock’n’Roll hits. The band toured throughout Munich and southern Bavaria.
In 1987 Jeffrey, along with new friends Ralph Bojen and Eric Thöner, founded the Studio-band „the congress“. Together they wrote mostly Soul, Funk and Disco songs and produced Radio jingles. Jeffrey played the rhythm guitar, sang, and started co-writing and producing.
1989 was the year he was introduced to modern Country music, and soon thereafter he started writing his own Country songs.
The young musician went to the U.S.A. for the first time in 1992 to learn more about the origins of Country Music, which he felt very bonded to. Which really was no surprise, since he was born a U.S citizen.
Living in Dallas, TX, and then in Syracuse, NY, Jeffrey got to know Southern-style music, as well as the northern Rock. During his time in New York State he had the chance to perform 2 of his original songs live on air with a local radio station, and performed at various events. Also, during this time he wrote several Country and Folk songs.
Upon returning to Germany at the end of 1993 he decided to promote “New American Music” – the new style of modern Country Music.
He started touring again, performing Cover songs and his own compositions. Jeffrey was at the time one of the first musicians that introduced this kind of music to Germany, and started building a reputation in the Country scene.
At that time Jeffrey joined “The Patty Burns Band” as guitar player, and sharing the lead vocals with Patty Burns. He was also booked as a Guest Musician with various other bands and performers.
His first own Country Band „Jeffrey Backus & Gundust“ came to be in 1993. They toured all over Germany and Austria, performing mostly modern Country Covers. Jeffrey still continued appearing solo, and established himself as one of the best Country singers in Germany. He was interviewed by Radio, and was mentioned in local and regional newspapers, and was a favorite to appear at Country festivals.
The Band played at the German Country Music Fan Fair in 1995, and received a remarkable response from the media. Additionally they were featured in the Video “Highlights of the Fan fair 1995” as one of the only 10 bands. Jeffrey and the Band recorded their first Demo Tape in 1994, titled “Bits & Pieces”, after one of Jeffrey’s original songs.
Jeffrey met the Heavy Metal Band „Sarepta“ in 1993. Their lead singer Manuel Hippel and Jeffrey co-wrote the song “So Close”, which appeared on Sarepts’s CD “Mind Wipe” in 1995.
In the time between 1993 and 1994 „the congress“ recorded the CD “Good Old Friends” for family and friends, a collection of their best songs.
To this point Jeffrey had tried Rock’n‘Roll, Soul, Funk, Disco, Country and Folk music, and felt comfortable with all these styles, to him they were all related.
In 1995 Jeffrey decided that he had to go to Nashville – Music City USA – to continue his musical career, and left Germany in 1996.
He travelled through Canada and the eastern USA in a motorhome, reaching Nashville in October 1996. Soon after arriving he was asked to perform at the “Hall of Fame Lounge” (right next to Music Row) on a weekly basis. He played at “Paul’s Country Club”, and took part in various Talent shows, including the “Opryland Talent Show”, which took place in the Acuff Theatre. He also appeared at many open-mic and songwriters nights, performing his own songs. During this time he met many other Nashville songwriters, and even won a NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) Songwriting contest with his friend and co-writer Keith “Opie” Allen. The reward was a 30 minute live interview on WSM 650am, the so called Morther-church of Country Music. The audience and the host enjoyed Opie and Jeffrey so much, that these 30 minutes turned into 2 ½ hours!
May 2005 brought him to the “International Country Rose Festival” in Germany, and a tour in that summer brought him back to his old home of Bavaria as a visitor. Country Rose invited him again for the same festival of the following year, where he delighted the audience like never before. The following day he was spontaneously asked to provide an interview on radio station HR2, and was carried up onto the stage by the thunderous applause and stomping feet of the audience.
Jeffrey has returned to his old home Bavaria at the beginning of 2012, and put all his focus intensely towards his passion – Music.
What started as a joke around the family dinner table soon thereafter became a reality. He started performing with his Dad – Gus Backus, as „the Backus Boys“. Also, as a Solo Artist he re-established himself again, soon raising big interest with several national radio stations
Jeffrey was a contestant at the „Country Music Euro Masters 2013“ in October. This is the official European championship for Country artists, and he proudly finished at number 7!
In November 2013, he topped even that. He unexpectedly was nomiinted to be a finalist at the "International Country Music Awards". He placed first!! Jeffrey couldn't believe it when the words rang out "the winner of the "International Country Music Award is: Jeffrey Backus!"
As 2014 started, Jeffrey was already nominated for the "Golden Countrystar 2014"!
In March 2014 a new life begins for Jeffrey. He is diagnosed with chronic Multiple Sclerosis. That's just another challenge Jeffrey will adapt to. One thing is for sure, though: As long as possible, Jeffrey will keep making music, hoping to make the world a better place.
Even though the MS is making things more difficult for Jeffrey, he still managed once more to be awarded at the 2014 International Country Music Awards! He placed 2nd as a Solo artist behind Juke West, and also 2nd as the Duo Backus & Cole!
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