December 12, 2012

Concert #661 - Garland Jeffreys at McCabe's Guitar Shop (December 9, 2012)

As I was watching Garland Jeffreys perform Sunday night at McCabe's, I kept asking myself how many other hidden treasures are out there, unknown even to folks like me, and I'm someone who digs a lot deeper than the average music fan. Funny thing, though, in Garland's case, it was Lincoln Myerson's word that brought me to the show and not my own due diligence. Lincoln is the Concert Director at McCabe's, and as such, his musical recommendations carry quite a bit of weight. 

Garland and his band came out at 8:20 PM and without wasting a second, they began to rock with intensity and passion. From the get go, I was stunned by the quality of Garland's voice - he's 69-years old yet sounds decades younger. And what can I say about the songs ... Without exception, they were all love-at-first-listen and later that evening I learned that all those great numbers had the same composer: Garland Jeffreys himself. I was impressed. His set also included two well-chosen covers, "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" and "96 Tears" and they both sounded great.

Garland Jeffreys at McCabe's
Garland left the stage a couple of times and wandered away into the dark concert room so that he could be closer to his fans. I high-fived him during one of those excursions, that was fun. Overall, his energy level was high and his voice never faltered. I liked his rapport with the other musicians on stage as well as the audience. There was some talk, but nothing excessive.

Adam Roth (electric guitar)
Charlie Roth (keyboards, backup vocals)
Tom Curiano (drums, backup vocals)
Brian Stanley (bass)

Rarely have I seen a backing group that grabbed me like Garland's band. They were fun to watch and even more fun to listen to, whether they rocked or played reggae. I loved observing Tom Curiano's facial expressions and his drumming was as good as anything I have ever witnessed. Adam Roth's guitar playing was equally good and I screamed with excitement when Charlie Roth played the famous opening notes of "96 Tears". By the way, Charlie is Adam's brother.

Adam Roth
Charlie Roth
Tom Curiano
Brian Stanley
Picking a show highlight is no easy feat, as I liked everything Garland sang. Six of the songs he sang came from his most recent album, "The King Of In Between", released in 2011. Those songs were all outstanding so, needless to say, I promptly bought the album after the show. I also bought an older album, "Ghost Writer", initially released sometime in the seventies. Good album, too.

The set list

Garland and his band mingled with the fans after the show and it felt good telling him how much I enjoyed my introduction to his music. I wasn't lying - Garland's show was one of the best I've ever seen at McCabe's and I did see a few. I will definitely catch him again the next time he's in town.

Garland Jeffreys after the show
From left: Adam Roth, Lincoln Myerson and my friend Steve
Garland Jeffreys with my friends Bill (left) and Steve
Garland Jeffreys and Yours Truly
Garland Jeffreys shirt
The stage


  1. He's a musicians' of the immortals and NY Skyline is the best NYC homesick song there is, although Billy Joel's New York State of Mind comes in a close second. Love GJ!

  2. I was there as well...1st time seeing the guy and I hope to see him many more times when he is in LA Very enjoyable night Ron Kalbrosky

  3. ...anyone bootleg...?

  4. Garland is truly one of the giants of rock music. I've loved him since the 70s, and I believe is too uncelebrated master whose talent and passion continues to this very day. There's really no one else on the scene who writes and plays with his exceptional greatness and excitement. I can't believe he isn't filling the big arenas, but to see him so intimately was just incredible.