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Home > Artists > Artist Profile >

John Altenburgh

Home: Mosinee, Wisconsin US

For 30 years, Wisconsin musician, composer, and producer John Altenburgh has been creating memorable songs in the Jazz, Blues, RnB, Classical, and Rock genres. Three of his albums have charted on the Billboard Jazz charts, and he's been featured on NBC’s Poker After Dark, Comedy Central, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and many more. Playing frequently live and on national syndicated Blues programs, John has been heard on Blues Deluxe, At The Crossroads, and Dan Aykroyd’s House of Blues. He has also produced albums for numerous Jazz artists, including Mike Metheny.

John Altenburgh is also leader of the band Johnny & The MoTones, and three of their albums have appeared high on Billboard's Blues charts. During 2011, their recent album, Nothin’ To Lose, has been featured on several syndicated Blues shows. John's commercial clients include Ski Doo Snowmobiles, US Cellular and JI Case.

John runs his own record label, Altenburgh Records, and has written and performed the theme song for Wisconsin Public Radio’s Route 51. Over his illustrious career, John has recorded and produced many albums, including 9 with the John Altenburgh Ensemble, and three with Johnny & The MoTones. His most recent release charted for several weeks on the World Blues Chart in 2011. In addition to producing albums for Mike Metheny, John's production talents can also be heard on albums by Rebecca Paris, Melvin Rhyne, John Greiner, and numerous others.

Altenburgh is also a music historian and has on loan, antique recording devices to the legendary Sun Studio museum as well as their recording studio. In addition, he has archived and produced recordings of the history of Wisconsin Rock Music and has been head of collections for museum exhibits

Genres for This Artist
Music Genres For John Altenburgh
Blues | Christmas | Classical | Corporate | Country | Dangerous | Dramatic | Jazz | Latin | Pop | RnB | Rock |

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SOUL'S ON FIRE   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 2006
A medium tempo gospel flavored song about a burning desire to change one's life. My soul's on fire is a statement of redemption and a cry from the "road" remembering a different time and a plea to those around to just "keep it light." Male Vocals, RnB Music, Southern Soul
Preview Track Full Track 461707 5:01 Med Slow

NOT FORGOTTEN   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1996
Upbeat instrumental contemporary jazz piece. Strong beat and powerful saxophone. The song is in 3 parts, basic melody with a hook line intro followed by a slower bridge, followed by a very aggressive solo section. Would be a good choice for anything from a stroll down the sidewalk to a chase scene, Instrumental, Jazz Music, Jazz Fusion
Preview Track Full Track 464115 6:20 Med Fast

WISH YOU WERE YOUNG AGAIN   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 2010
A heartfelt song about an inspirational person (male or female) growing old. Sung in the first person, the singer asks the question "Can you do it again" wishing the person could turn back time and give us hope again, one more round of greatness. parents, grandparents, teachers, sports heroes etc. Male Vocals, Pop Music, Pop Ballad
Preview Track Full Track 461622 5:02 Med Slow

AND THEN THERE WERE FOUR!   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1995
A heartfelt contemporary jazz ballad that stirs emotion and sets a reflective mood for anywhere from lost love, to remembering your childhood or an old friend. The muted trumpet, along with the distinctive drum groove, gives it a contemporary urban feel. Beautiful melody. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Nu Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 461975 5:19 Med Slow

SEVEN SUMMER NIGHTS   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1996
Medium tempo Urban Jazz. Muted trumpet and hip hop beat gives this song a big city feel. Walking down the Avenue, sulty, romantic. Excellent Theme song music. Rainy nights, warm Summer air, city lights. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Nu Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 461892 6:31 Slow

CRAZY PEOPLE   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 2010
A med. tempo song about being surrounded by "Crazy People." No matter where you go, where you sleep, they are all around you. When you are at the crossroads of life, don't listen to the (crazy people) about what to do. Follow your own path and, if you make mistakes, at least they are your own! Male Vocals, RnB Music, Contemporary RnB
Preview Track Full Track 461627 5:40 Med Slow

BLUES NEWS   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 2010
A medium tempo piano blues trio piece. Good for just about anything. A classic 12 bar blues with a bright bouncy feel to it with good piano riffs. Instrumental, Blues Music, Jump/Piano Blues
Preview Track Full Track 467477 2:19 Medium

KEELERVILLE   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1996
A contemporary jazz song that switches from melancholy to uptempo, dramatic and aggressive rhythms with plenty of burning solos. A slower bridge that creates tension to a driving solo section. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Nu Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 464117 6:42 Med Fast

BABY DON'T JUMP   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 2010
An up tempo song about a hot girl with long legs who can dance/jump so hard. Sexy, the hottest thing in the club. Everybody wants her, no one can have but me, and I can't keep up with her! Swingin' jump blues/jazz with hot solos. Male Vocals, Blues Music, Jump Blues
Preview Track Full Track 461638 3:31 Very Fast

USE THE STEPS   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 2006
Uptempo jazzy/blues instrumental. Bright, bouncy, with a driving beat. Perfect for creating an image of determination and hope. Saxophone driven with a gritty guitar section in the middle. Confidence, determination and moving forward. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Jazz Rock
Preview Track Full Track 461870 4:48 Fast

GET THE FUNK   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1994
Medium tempo instrumental funky jazz song. The song is segmented into two parts. The "A" section identified by the funky wah wah pedal of the guitar followed by a more straight back beat rock feel. Solos by guitar, organ and muted trumpet. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Nu Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 469392 4:49 Fast

THE LAST DAYS OF MR. KEEGAN   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1994
This slower composition combines a non-standard form of rhythm with dark, mysterious sounds and delivers an ominous setting. The middle section breaks away to a more melodic standard form providing a false sense of security as it suddenly moves back to the dark side. Suspense, mystery unease, Instrumental, Dangerous Music, Dangerous Music
Preview Track Full Track 464167 5:36 Med Slow

CUDA   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 2006
Uptempo, Instrumental featuring piano. Upbeat canjun style blues. Great for any kind of Mardi Gras or New Orleans themed project. Also features solos by harmonica, saxophone and slide guitar. Instrumental, Blues Music, Delta Blues
Preview Track Full Track 461706 4:31 Fast

COASTIN' HOME   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1990
A bluesy R&B tune in the style of the old Saturday Night Live theme. Perfect for closing credits. Saxophone and guitar drive this gospel type blues in three/four time. Emotional and driving, sentimental and emotional. Romantic drama, slow dancing, urban nights in big cities. A bit lonely and bluesy. Instrumental, RnB Music, Chicago Soul
Preview Track Full Track 464230 4:58 Med Slow

THREE-ONE   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1994
Medium tempo instrumental jazz tune with a rock beat. The song features bright saxophone to set an up-lifting mood. The bridge provides a slower feel and creates tension to the solo sections which kicks into a feverish full production of instruments. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Jazz Rock
Preview Track Full Track 464161 5:07 Med Slow

NO BETTER DAYS THAN THESE   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1994
A light contemporary jazz song with a latin beat. Hope, good will, sentimental, love and comfort are just some of the emotions produced. Middle solo piano section does create a little tension but quickly comes back to the care-free feel to the song. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Orchestral Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 464162 5:23 Med Fast

WISH YOU WERE YOUNG AGAIN (ALTERNATE)   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 2010
The scaled down version (piano & vocal & strings) of the heartfelt song about an inspirational person (male or female) growing old. Sung in the first person, the singer asks the question "Can you do it again" wishing the person could turn back time and give us hope again, one more round of greatness, Male Vocals, Jazz Music, Lounge Jazz Vocals
Preview Track Full Track 469314 3:54 Slow

TIME FLIES   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1988
Times Flies is a song about the singer's observations of life. Confusion about what he thinks he sees and what's in fact, reality. A song of hope and also disappointment and the paradox of life in general. Male Vocals, Rock Music, Soft Rock
Preview Track Full Track 469324 2:49 Fast

1960   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1991
Uptempo traditional jazz selection featuring saxophone and vibraphone. Good where the traditional small group jazz sound would be appropriate. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Cool Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 464214 5:26 Medium

MAIN STREET '38   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1994
Whimsical up-tempo jazz waltz. Creates a sense of hope, happiness, contentment and satisfaction. Saxophone and piano solos are bright and clear. Would be good displaying family and home themes. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Nu Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 464163 3:55 Very Fast

COLD STORAGE BLUES   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1992
A gritty Organ and drums duet. A classic 1940s, 50s & 60s sound. Right out of the Mel Rhyne (Wes Montgomery Trio) organ sound bag. Mel actually set the stops of the organ up for me before I recorded it. Although my playing would never be confused with the legendary jazz organist, the tone is classic, Instrumental, Jazz Music, Swing Ensembles
Preview Track Full Track 469995 3:45 Medium

JIM AND ELLY'S SUMMER VACATION   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1991
A New Orleans style song with piano and drums. A whimsical, fun, celebratory mood. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Dixieland
Preview Track Full Track 464228 2:44 Very Fast

ANOTHER GRAY MORNING   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1977
A Pop ballad similar to "Lately Days." A sleepy, heartfelt, emotional song about life's struggles and the hope of singing a simple song..."I won't have it that way." Sentimental, questioning life, nostalgic, sweet and moody. Uplifting hopeful and elegant. Loving caring and stirring entertainment, Male Vocals, Jazz Music, Lounge Jazz Vocals
Preview Track Full Track 469323 2:31 Very Slow

FALLS CITY   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1996
Latin jazz song with various rhythmic changes to the beat. The minor key used gives the listener a mysterious feel, but has moments of uplifting thoughts when arriving at the bridge of the song. May be a good fit for a "searching for someone" in a spy or detective scene. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Latin Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 464159 4:45 Fast

LIGHT ON IN THE WINDOW   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1988
Medium slow rock ballad about someone who leaves a light on to signify they are waiting for another to return. Alone and getting older, she waits and waits. realizing she made mistakes but still has hope that the person she is waiting for will return. It never happens and she eventually passes on. Male Vocals, Pop Music, Alternative Pop
Preview Track Full Track 469334 3:27 Med Fast

SUMMER   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1992
A very moody piece that can create a backdrop from anything from love to remembrance. Piano, percussion backed by strings and layered sounds. A creation of fantasy and dreams. Instrumental, Dramatic Music, Ethereal Music
Preview Track Full Track 464238 3:36 Very Slow

LAST TIME I SAW CHICAGO   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1994
A jazz ballad about lost love in the City of Chicago. Remembering the last time the singer was in that city and the heartbreak that ensued. Very emotional with piano, orchestra and percussion. Male Vocals, Jazz Music, Lounge Jazz Vocals
Preview Track Full Track 464168 4:47 Mixed

HITCHED TO MY STAR   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1994
Slow rock ballad that sings about a lover that had to have him, and was deceived in the process. An aspiring singer who's new found love threatens to destroy the free spirit of the singer by his lover crushing his spirit with lies, deceit and demands. Male Vocals, Rock Music, Soft Rock
Preview Track Full Track 467532 5:09 Slow

GENERATIONS   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1991
Jazzy latin rock song. Featuring the tenor saxophone. This medium tempo is bright and energetic. The mood set is one of determination and moving forward. The second section of the song is a little darker but quickly comes back to opening them. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Jazz Fusion
Preview Track Full Track 469996 5:35 Med Fast

BIG ORANGE FACE IN THE SKY   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 2003
One of two versions of this song (Orange Face.) This song is basically in two parts, the first a slower more reflective feel. It transitions to a more uptempo rockish feel. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Latin Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 470754 4:50 Medium

IT'S ONLY A RENTAL   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1994
Up-Tempo jazz tune with a rock beat. Strong solos by guitar, piano and saxophone. Hard driving, strong and forceful. Complete with full horn section. Would be good for sports, dramatic and powerful. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Jazz Rock
Preview Track Full Track 464165 4:44 Medium

SONANDO (ALTERNATE VERSION)   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1989
Up-Tempo contemporary jazz with saxophone and synthesizer solos. Kind of space age sounding. A slower short bridge serves to rev up remainder of the song. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Jazz Fusion
Preview Track Full Track 469801 4:22 Fast

BIG ORANGE FACE (REPRISE)   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 2003
Latin guitar duet. This slower/medium tempo song creates images of emotional subjects... love, regret, missing someone, sorrow or perhaps melancholy remembrance's and love. Instrumental, Latin Music, Flamenco
Preview Track Full Track 467511 2:14 Medium

NO COMPENSATION   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1993
An medium uptempo jazz latin instrumental. Uplifting and energetic. The Middle section brings the feel to a more reflective, dark type of listening atmosphere. It comes back to the general theme with plenty of solos and instrumentation's along the way. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Latin Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 464239 4:28 Medium

EXPENSIVE DELANO   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 2003
Medium slow Latin jazz instrumental song featuring classical guitar, soprano saxophone, upright bass and percussion. Strolling through an inner city, late night at the beach. A little bit darker in flavor with it's minor chords and lazy tempo. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Latin Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 467507 4:39 Medium

SUMMER SWEAT   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 2003
An uptempo Latin Jazz piece and electric classical guitar. Plenty of percussion and creates the feel of a 1950's Cuban club. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Latin Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 470756 3:38 Medium

GJ   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1991
Traditional jazz song written in the style of the small jazz combo groups of the 1950's. Imagine an old smokey night club in the inner city. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Bebop
Preview Track Full Track 469994 4:11 Fast

SPACE & TIME   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1988
A dark, sinister avant-garde piece that uses all kinds of synthesized musical sounds to create an ominous feel. Would be great to create thrilling, looking over your shoulder type scenes. The main part is a floating collection of sounds for suspense. The last part with heavy drums for chase effect, Instrumental, Dangerous Music, Dark Music
Preview Track Full Track 467513 3:14 Medium

ONE EVENING LONG AGO   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1993
This song has numerous sections. The first, a melodic, slow vocal interlude transforming into a jazz combo with vocals. The middle sections feature a vocal chorus then to a big band instrumental. A swinging tune about sailors going to sea... one evening long ago. Wrote this song from a wartime photo, Male Vocals, Jazz Music, Swing | Big Band
Preview Track Full Track 470313 4:22 Med Fast

PETE THE PONTIAC   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1992
Jazz in 6/8 time featuring the sounds of the Electronic Wind Instrument EWI. A somewhat haunting, irregular sound that creates a special mood of intensity. Also features a piano solo and a "trading of fours" between the EWI, drums and eventually the bass and piano. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Nu Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 464217 5:27 Very Fast

SIMMER DOWN   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1994
Instrumental jazz/blues with strong back beat. Horn section to give it some sophistication and driving solos by guitar, piano and saxphone Good crusin music,, Instrumental, Blues Music, Modern Electric Blues
Preview Track Full Track 461910 5:42 Med Fast

HERKIMER COUNTY   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1991
Medium tempo jazz with swing beat. Saxophone quartet with upright bass, piano and drums. Some scat type singing following melody for a little different flavor. A feel good, light-hearted piece. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Cool Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 464237 5:28 Very Fast

FEEL IT   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1988
A medium slow rock song with esoteric lyrics off the beaten path about a lonely person who wants to know, "Why didn't anyone ever tell me." A song of dispair, loneliness, a comentary of what the singer has witnessed in his life. Plenty of symbolism and double meanings. Male Vocals, Jazz Music, Jazz Rock
Preview Track Full Track 467529 2:53 Slow

SORRY, CAN'T WAIT   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1994
Uptempo jazz waltz. Bright, sophisticated track with horn section, saxophone, vibraphone and piano backed by drums, upright bass. A contemporary jazz feel. Solos by organ, saxophone and bass. A lively song suited for hope, high spirits, traveling, exploring. A feel good song with big finish. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Nu Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 464160 5:35 Fast

KEEPIN' ALIVE   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1999
Medium tempo rock song about going through the years. Starts in the 60's and works up to the present. Remembering various events through the singers' life. Male Vocals, Rock Music, Roots Rock
Preview Track Full Track 469800 3:24 Med Slow

LAZY JANE   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1995
A song about the fictitious Lazy Jane. This medium tempo country song asks the question, "Can you tell us where he is my dear?" In response to her lack of caring and doing. "You told us you care!" The life of times of the little gold-digger, Jane. Male Vocals, Country Music, Country Rock
Preview Track Full Track 467534 3:37 Med Slow

SEE MY BREATH   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1992
Up tempo jazz vocal with horns and vocal ensemble. See My Breath is a song about being so cold..."I can see my breath!" Great for any kind of Winter scene where snow and cold are dominant. Plenty of instrumental solos in the middle for musical interludes and segways. Male Vocals, Jazz Music, Swing Ensembles
Preview Track Full Track 469992 3:59 Medium

FRAN'S BACK!   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1991
A melancholy, traditional jazz piece. It features a happy-go-lucky feel with saxophone, piano, bass and drums. Lush urban vibe, late night club scene, new romance. Elegant chic 1960s 1970s entertainment, floor show, country club dance. Candlelight dinner, slow dancing. Sweet flirty and fun. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Lounge Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 464219 4:58 Medium

OCEAN BLVD.   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 2003
Light Latin flavored instrumental. The sound of a classical guitar mixed with various percussion instruments, bass and tenor sax. Imagine a tropical setting or perhaps something you may hear in a back club in South Beach. A 1950's to 60's small group latin/jazz combo sound. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Latin Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 467482 3:47 Med Slow

DINING WITH MRS. BLAIR   (by John Altenburgh )  Composed: 1995
A jazz waltz featuring trumpet back by a jazz quartet and orchestra. The song opens with a haunting, love lost type of feel. Dramatic, yet charming. It moves to standard jazz waltz and finishes with full orchestra. Moving and inspirational! Love, romance and sentimental over-tones. Instrumental, Jazz Music, Nu Jazz
Preview Track Full Track 464118 6:29 Medium
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