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) offers “more proof that he deserves musical comparisons that fall somewhere between Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen and Graham Parker” (Pop Matters) and “shows the now 73-year old songwriter still reveling in the kind of wide-ranging songwriting that has today become a lost art” (Stereophile). Produced by 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.