Garland Jeffreys: Cult NYC Songwriter Is Somewhere Between Interesting and Dangerous

When Garland Jeffreys broke onto the New York music scene in the early 1970s, the same scene that spawned Patti Smith, Television, The Ramones and (via New Jersey) Bruce Springsteen, his songs were a little too close to the pressing realities of the times. Music was supposed to be an escape, not something to remind people of the struggles presently endured.

But Jeffreys then -- and now -- finds it his calling to address the politics of race and ignorance, struggles and hardship, but also the joy and goodness in the world through a compelling blend of rock and roll interspersed with reggae, blues, Latin, and soul.

Though he was already making music with his previous band, Grinder's Switch, which served as John Cale's back-up band in 1969 on the Vintage Violence album, Jeffreys' debut as a solo artist was in 1973.