Live Review

Fine Entertainment at the Hands of Garland Jeffreys

Garland Jeffreys at Club Passim on June 7, 2015

The relative obscurity of Garland Jeffreys in this country is almost criminal (he is much more well-known in Europe). I have been a big fan since the early 70s and his most well-known song "Wild inthe Streets" is one of few I've never cared for. I saw him in Seattle last year and was very impressed by his energy and his voice which is still in great shape. For me it is his reggae songs I love the most and I've heard that Bob Marley called him the best American reggae singer. His version of "No Woman No Cry" rivals Marley's in every way.

For a long time those early 70s albums were unavailable on CD, at least in America. So on one of my trips to Greece in the 90s I was excited to see a CD compliation in a Greek record store which contained some of his great songs from those albums--an indication of how much more respected he is in Europe. 

Yes, an autobiography would be much-welcomed considering his fascinating life gowing up as a black-Hispanic who was incfluenced by both cultures but didn't feel fully accepted by either. These mutiple influences no doubt account for his eclectic musical styles where he genre-hops all over the map and probably is one reason he isn't better known since his art defies pigeon-holing. But he is much respected by his peers and has rubbed shoulders with the greats. He went to college with Lou Reed and they remained good friends. Lou was even his daughter's godfather, the daughter Jeffreys dropped out of music for over a decade to help raise. Another indication of the man's integrity.

Thanks Suze for your review which reminded me of the excelent show I witnessed.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Dennis. There's no question in my mind that I will see him again. I just hope it's fairly soon!