Mar 21, 2017
AUSTIN -- For many artists, South By Southwest serves to launch or revitalize careers. For Garland Jeffreys, the festival is just another waypoint on his lifelong mission to make the world a better place.
With a timeless sounding new album 14 Steps To Harlem, due April 28, Jeffreys played a series of shows here and took time for a chat Thursday night before performing at The Driskill hotel ballroom. Talking with the 73-year-old singer-songwriter is akin to an episode of VH1 Storytellers.
It's the Brooklyn native's first visit to the festival in three years. In 2014, he participated in a tribute to his longtime pal Lou Reed, who died in 2013, and frequently joined another buddy, Texas musician Alejandro Escovedo, on stage here in years past.
A year ago, his wife Claire -- who is overseeing a documentary about Jeffreys' life; more info on PledgeMusic.com -- asked him if he wanted to quit performing. "I said 'No.' I have a message. I feel I'm an expert in telling it."
That message is one of inclusivity, says Jeffreys, born the son of mixed race parents. When it comes to songwriting, Jeffreys often mines his "dream that there would be less racism and more collaborative living and understanding and caring," he said. "There are a lot of people out there who unfortunately are not ready for that, seemingly."
Colored Boy Said, a song on the new album, mentions "I got a president who looks like me" and references the choking death of Eric Garner and the shooting of nine black churchgoers in Charleston (S.C.). read more
Feb 28, 2017
From BILLBOARD by Gary Graff
Garland Jeffreys brings it home in the title track of his new album, 14 Steps To Harlem, the video for which is premiered exclusively below.
"The big story in the album is '14 Steps To Harlem,' and what my father gave me," the veteran New York singer tells Billboard. "This is kind of a dedication to him, to both my folks, this album. But my father, he gave me a life. He provided the money for me to go to Syracuse [University]. He gave my brother and I what he didn't have. He was a very dutiful guy. I'm sitting here in a nice apartment with my wife, and my daughter when she's home, and I'm very grateful for what I have, and I know that's because of what my father gave me."
As Jeffreys talk-sings verses about his father and mother's journeys to work -- his at a small factory in Harlem, hers to the Domino sugar plant -- between doo-wop style choruses, the video streams appropriate black & white period photos, including plenty of street scenes and venues such as the Apollo Theatre and the Rhythm Club. The combination presents a vivid image of Jeffreys' experience as a youth, with a solemn and reverent but also joyful tone.
"My father would take the train from Sheepshead Bay to Harlem, and when he got to Harlem he'd have to walk to the place where he was working," Jeffreys remembers. "At one point I would go with him and I'd work part-time, maybe in the summer months back then. I don't know how he did it, 'cause I didn't really like that job, but he did, 'cause that's all he had. He worked wherever he could get a job, but it had to have a certain respectability to it. He had a lot of pride, and he was proud to have his kids rise up to the point that he did."
Jeffreys' parents also got to bask in a bit of his success. "They moved to Vegas at one point," he says. "And I gave my mother and father my gold single for 1973's 'Wild In the Streets,' and that was fantastic. They knew that was valuable, right in front of them, and that their investment in me had paid off."
14 Steps to Harlem includes other nods to Jeffreys past, including originals such as "When You Call My Name," "Schoolyard Blues," "Reggae On Broadway" and "Spanish Heart." He also covers the Beatles' "Help" as an homage to John Lennon, who Jeffreys met while recording at the Record Plant, and the Velvet Underground's "Waiting For the Man" in tribute to his fellow Syracuse Orangeman Lou Reed, who he met during their shared days in college.
"We became friends at Syracuse, and I watched him and felt like, 'If Lou can get up there and sing, then I certainly can!'" Jeffreys recalls. "Lou has always been a friend to me. He always respected me and treated me with love, to the very end. I would say that's probably very rare; I know he had certainly other kinds of engagements with other people that weren't like that, but my experience with him was always positive."
Jeffreys releases the James Maddock-produced 14 Steps to Harlem -- which features guest appearances by his daughter Savannah and by Reed's widow Laurie Anderson -- on April 28, and will be at this year's South By Southwest during March to build up some advance buzz. A tour starts March 18 in Scotch Plains, N.J. with North American and European dates, and as many more as the 73-year-old artist can muster.
"I've got a job to do," Jeffreys says. "I can't emphasize how grateful I am, because in my late years now, you might say, I'm fortunate to have my health. I'm at the gym, I take care of myself, I don't feel like I have any influences. So I'd like to stick around and make new recordings as much as I can and get out on the road. Just shows, shows, shows -- that's the theme right now. That's what I'm here to do."
Feb 21, 2017
NEW ALBUM 14 STEPS TO HARLEM AVAILABLE ON ITUNES WORLDWIDE!
ORDER NOW TO GET TRACK "14 STEPS TO HARLEM" RIGHT AWAY!
Click the album for streaming!
Feb 10, 2017
April 28 worldwide release. I consider this record one of my best. More details coming soon.
Jan 31, 2017
Garland Jeffreys has been making provocative, personally charged urban rock and roll since the late 1960s. 14 Steps To Harlem, the third album in six years by this “beloved rock-soul-reggae singer-songwriter” (New York Times) is set to release April 28 on his own Luna Park Records. Produced with James Maddock with core band members Mark Bosch, Charly Roth, Brian Stanley and Tom Curiano, guest spots by Brian Mitchell and Ben Stivers, a gorgeous duet with daughter Savannah and a radiant violin solo by Laurie Anderson, this record delivers what fans have come to expect from Jeffreys: edgy immediacy and literate, emotionally raw lyrics coupled with a still supple voice capable of singing in a practically limitless number of styles.
Jeffreys has long held the respect of his peers and the breadth of contributors to his recordings and performances reflect that, as well as an ahead of his time penchant for musical genre-bending: Dr. John, The E Street Band, John Cale, Michael Brecker, Larry Campbell, The Rumour, James Taylor, Phoebe Snow, Sly & Robbie, Sonny Rollins, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Bruce Springsteen, U2 and Lou Reed among many more have recorded and performed with him. With a string of critically acclaimed records and radio hits including “Wild in the Streets” and his cover of the garage rock classic “96 Tears” it’s a testament to both the broad appeal and diversity of his music that his songs have been covered by hardcore punk legends The Circle Jerks (whose version of “Wild in the Streets” is a skater anthem), psych-folkies Vetiver and jazz trumpeter Randy Brecker. “Wild in the Streets” was recently featured in and included on the soundtrack album of the Baz Luhrmann-helmed Netflix original series “The Get Down.”
A 2016 Long Island Hall of Fame inductee, a NY Blues Hall of Famer, performing in the Wim Wenders film “The Soul of a Man,” recipient of the prestigious Schallplattenkritik Prize in Germany and the Tenco and Premio Prizes in Italy, and performing at world-class festivals such as Byron Bay Blues, Montreux Jazz, Ottawa Folk and Fuji Rock, Garland Jeffreys will not go gently into that good night. Here’s what people are saying about his recent shows:
• His live performances and his joy for life are undiminished. He will still jump from the stage and strut through the audience. When one story ends there’s always another about to begin... — No Depression
• Backed by a crack band, Jeffreys bring his great songs, powerful voice and buoyant personality — The New Yorker
• A seriously satisfying high-octane show — Huffington Post
Doors 6 PM Show 8 PM
Jan 24, 2017
Jan 11, 2017
The lengthy artist list, primarily featuring up-and-coming talent, accounts for roughly a quarter of what will ultimately be around 2,000 showcasing hopefuls in Austin, March 10-19. Other notables include Houston rapper Trae Tha Truth, Weezer guitarist Brian Bell’s the Relationship, Philly piano punchers Low Cut Connie, lighthearted MCs Turquoise Jeep, and Zipper Club, a new band led by Lissie Trulie and Cerebral Ballzy’s Mason James. Also descending locally: Birmingham boogie garage gang Banditos, evil hip-hop crew Ho99o9, L.A. rockers Warbly Jets, SX alt-country perennials Waco Brothers, unconventional rhymer Open Mike Eagle, reformed Denton acid punks Brutal Juice, Kentucky punks White Reaper, veteran NYC singer-songwriter Garland Jeffreys, Denver rock trio the Yawpers, and the young Maggie Rogers, a musical unknown until she blew Pharrell’s mind with her post-modern electronic folk music. - Austin Chronicle
Dec 19, 2016
Dec 12, 2016
My nearly 50 year life in rock and roll didn't happen without you!
Some of you have been turning people on to my music for years. Now it’s time to turn on the rest of the world — and we’ve decided that a feature documentary is the best way to do it.
Since the documentary is going to take a while to complete, in the interim we’ll be giving you updates and exclusives on not just the doc, but on a brand new album too — with expected delivery no later than April 1, 2017.
As for the film’s completion, the sooner we fund it the sooner we finish it so join me on this journey and help bring my story out there! PLEDGE HERE!
WHO IS GARLAND JEFFREYS? (working title) A singer-songwriter from Brooklyn who broke into the Greenwich Village music scene in the late 60’s with soulful, genre-bending songs focused on racial themes. With his 1973 self-titled album debut on Atlantic Records Garland began a promising career, revered by such peers as Lou Reed and Bob Marley (who went on record saying “Garland Jeffreys does reggae better than anyone in America”). While his albums have charted in the Top Five in the UK and Europe, his songs been covered by bands as diverse as The Circle Jerks and Vetiver, and many used as needle drop tracks in film and advertisements globally, Jeffreys remains largely a cult favorite in the commercial music scene.
Now at 73, he’s looking back over his colorful life and career. His 20 year-old daughter Savannah’s musical talent is undeniable. Will her music become his legacy? What is his legacy? What keeps him going? What keeps all of us going, and how do we reconcile ourselves to the choices we’ve made along the way?
As much an exploration of a dynamic recording artist’s lifelong career and persistent integrity as it is a meditation on the meaning of fame and success, with interviews from Laurie Anderson, Graham Parker, Harvey Keitel and many more, “Who Is Garland Jeffreys?” will rock your soul and open your heart.
Dec 5, 2016
Thrilled to be returning to Joe's Pub for the third straight year! Come shake off this crazy year and start 2017 with us with old favorites and sneak previews of tunes from the new album and a special guest appearance by Savannah Jeffreys!
The hardy, dynamic Sheepshead Bay native Jeffreys, a musical poet of the New York streets, has been releasing albums since the seventies: punchy amalgams of rock, soul, reggae and proto-rap. Backed by a crack band—longtime associates Mark Bosch (guitar), Brian Stanley (bass), Tom Curiano (drums) and Charly Roth (keys)—Jeffreys brings his great songs, powerful voice and buoyant personality back to the Pub for another shot of celebratory magic. His daughter Savannah Jeffreys, an impressive composer and singer in her own right, opens. — The New Yorker
Oct 21, 2016
On the set of HBO's "The Deuce" with George and Nick Pelecanos - more to follow!
Sep 30, 2016
With Mick Jones at The Bottom Line. Still standing on tables! Next show at The Iridium in NYC on 10/8.
Aug 9, 2016
Super cool people on this soundtrack for THE GET DOWN. Check it out out here!
Aug 2, 2016
WONDERFUL DAY WITH EVERONE CELEBRATING LOU REED AT LINCOLN CENTER OUT OF DOORS, ORGANIZED WITH LOVE AND JOY BY LAURIE ANDERSON AND HAL WILLNER.
Jul 26, 2016
Jul 3, 2016
Being inducted into The Long Island Music Hall of Fame and proud to be joining an illustrious crew of musicians from this fertile area. Just some of them: The Ramones, Lou Reed, Tony Bennett, Roy Haynes, Gerry Goffin, John Zorn, Run DMC and many more. Check the full list and more here. Induction ceremony November 3rd.
Jun 21, 2016
May 18, 2016