Garland Jeffreys

When Garland Jeffreys released his first solo album in 1973, Village Voice critic Robert Christgau called him both “classy” and “classless.” He wasn’t meaning to be self-contradictory: It was clear even then that Jeffreys was elevated just a little in temperament and ambition from much of the streetwise New York scene he was a part of. It was also evident from day one that classifications meant nothing to a genre-indifferent performer whose self-titled debut had “Stonesy blues shuffles rubbing elbows with reggae from Kingston.” The dean of rock critics declared that “this man should be given the keys to every city whose streets he walks—ours first” and issued a bold two-word prophecy: “staying power.”

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