In Music Commentary

Jeffreys has collaborated with the likes of Stan Getz, Dr. John, Sonny Rollins, James Taylor, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Phoebe Snow and Sly and Robbie. (PHOTO: Danny Clinch)

New York rock 'n' street poet Jeffreys lands at Shank

Garland Jeffreys has long been a fixture on the New York rock and roll scene, where he emerged in the 1970s, and began a long career collaborating with the likes of Stan Getz, Dr. John, Sonny Rollins, James Taylor, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Phoebe Snow and Sly and Robbie.

All these years later, Jeffreys is still creating street-wise, rebel music drawing on a wide variety of influences.

Check out his latest, "The King Of In Between" – which includes a guest appearance by his long-time friend and street poet colleague Lou Reed – to see what he's been up to lately. Jeffreys plays at Shank Hall on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. with Aaron Fox & the Reliable. Admission is $20.

Co-produced with by Grammy-winning producer Larry Campbell, "The King Of In Between" – his first full-length set of new music in more than a decade – finds Jeffreys re-mining his roots. The record has drawn comparison's to his acclaimed 1977 disc, "Ghost Writer."

"I've always been hard to slot, I guess," says Jeffreys. "These songs were written over a few years and it wasn't until the album was finished that I realized they all talk about disenfranchisement, of feeling marginalized in some way or another.

"That's the meaning of the title. It doesn't pertain only to being biracial, though that will always be a part of who I am, but to how many people around the world today feel like they're literally falling through the cracks."

One of my favorites is the light reggae romp of "Roller Coaster Town," a tribute to Jeffreys' Brooklyn roots. He says his past was a major touchstone on "The King Of In Between."

"Another theme that emerged was the strong connection to my childhood and growing up in Sheepshead Bay right next to Coney Island," says Jeffreys.

"It had everything a kid could want – schoolyard playgrounds, the beach, Mrs. Stahl's knishes when you had some extra pocket money, and most of all, Coney Island."

Another track on the record, the first single, is "Coney Island Winter." He performs it live here

Here, you can hear Jefffreys talk about why it took so long for his new record to arrive.


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