Jun 4, 2017
Hugh’s Room Live was the scene, and the man delivered. Boy, did he ever.
TEXT & PHOTOS BY ERIC THOM
I’ve never met the Pope. But I’ve met Garland Jeffreys and I’m expecting the experience to be similar. Aside from the man’s 47+ years of show business credentials and endless library of exceptional songs, he appears to stand for everything that matters in this world, embracing an absolute love of his fellow man with a buoyant, upbeat positivity that would make Julie Andrews blush – everything you’d expect of a proper pontiff. Completely approachable and extremely fan-friendly, the extra time he invested into the end of his evening turned out to be as lengthy as the 16-song set he and his Coney Island Playboys had just laid out for a full, adoring house of forever fans. Long after most artists would’ve been justifiably hotel-bound, Garland Jeffreys sincerely cares to go that extra mile.
Read more here
May 5, 2017
Apr 25, 2017
Filmed in New York City, 3 songs from the new record. Thanks Paste!
Apr 21, 2017
One week and counting! My new album 14 Steps To Harlem will be released worldwide on April 28 and will be available on CD, vinyl and MP3.
A BRUSH WITH GREATNESS
I met Lou Reed in the cafeteria of Syracuse University in 1961. Lou was a sophomore. I was a freshman. No one introduced us; we were just in line for some lunch and kind of sniffed each other out as cool guys from the city. He was from Long Island and I was from Brooklyn and he was probably already way cooler than me, but nonetheless we started hanging out once we discovered that we both loved doo-wop. I was a Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers freak and he loved the Velours, the Moonglows, the Jesters and the Paragons. We only liked the groups that we considered to be the real thing.
There was some kind of standard. I don’t think either of us was thinking seriously about becoming songwriters or performers at the time, but we definitely both cared about pop music in the way that people do who know that music can save your life.
One day, not long after, he said, “Meet me at the bar,” and that meant the Orange Bar. I fell by and was surprised to find him sitting in a booth with an older guy, a kind of rumpled guy with dark hair. I didn’t get their relationship at first and was a bit suspicious since he was clearly not a student, but we started meeting there every day at 4pm and this guy was always there.
No one introduced us; we were just in line for some lunch and kind of sniffed each other out as cool guys from the city
Turned out he was Delmore Schwartz, Lou’s English professor, and he was drinking there with Lou every day. I just came around and listened to them talk, not always getting the literary references, but happy to be a part of it. I learned about sophisticated drinks like Dubonnet on the rocks with a twist of lemon.
Read more here.
Apr 19, 2017
Pre-order on Amazon, iTunes and GooglePlay.
Apr 7, 2017
On behalf of the Harlem International Film Festival, I would like to applaud and congratulate you and your entire team for your exceptional work and convey the acceptance of 14 Steps To Harlem to the 12th Annual Harlem International Film Festival! The Festival takes place May 4-7, 2017 in Harlem, New York City.
Apr 3, 2017
Thanks to Peter Clark for the photo and thanks to the band and the fans for a very special show.
Mar 22, 2017
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.