Stream on, Stream on…continued: check out Garland Jeffreys’ “Truth Serum”

Garland JeffreysI just got this one this week, and I highly recommend it. Great mix of pop, rock, reggae…Garland’s got you covered. Solid follow-up to 2011’s The King of In BetweenStream the whole thing right here.

I reminisced about seeing Jeffreys in concert in the 1980s several months back. Read all about it here. Can’t wait to see him again.


From my ticket stub vault: Garland Jeffreys, plus news on his new disc

FileItem-271451-HiResPhoto5February 28, 1987 (Club Soda, Montreal)

New Yorker Garland Jeffreys is a personal fave of mine. With a distinctive voice and songs that combine elements of rock, reggae, jazz and other influences, his music has never fit snuggly into one category (other than just “great”). But since he arrived on the scene in the mid-70s, he’s maintained a devoted following which continues to this day. His landmark 1977 album Ghost Writer  and in particular the track “Spanish Town” was a favourite for airplay on Montreal’s CHOM-FM, the station I listened to throughout my teens (and briefly worked at).

On a dreary February night in 1987, I had the opportunity to see him and it wasn’t something I was going to miss, especially at an intimate venue like Club Soda. Other than just being an overall great show, one of the most memorable elements was the brilliant way he started the show. The band came on stage, but no Garland. Suddenly we hear him start singing, but we don’t see him. Figure he’s going to walk out on stage like the band did. Then a spotlight comes on, shining on a figure sitting hunched over at the bar at the back of the club. He then slowly gets up, and sings his way through the crowd toward the stage. No one even really knew he was there. Simple, but incredibly memorable.

In 2011, after a far too long absence (13 years!), Jeffreys released the excellent The King of In Between which was the “welcome back” his fans had been waiting for. Now comes word that he’s back at work on a new disc and he’s turning to his fans to get the project moving. Fans can make a pledge of $10 to get a download of the album when it’s released, or pledge more and get the album plus other goodies like an autographed cd ($26), your name in the liner notes ($81), or an executive producer credit (that one will cost you $5000). You can read all about it and watch a message from Jeffreys at FYI, 10% of the pledges will go to the Beth Israel Medical Center “Favors for Neighbors” program in NYC, which supports elderly people in Stuyvesant Town where Jeffreys lives.

If you live in Ottawa or Calgary you’ll be able to catch Jeffreys in concert this summer. He’s playing the Ottawa Bluesfest on July 5th and 6th and the Calgary Folk Music Festival on July 27th.

Until the new disc comes out, enjoy a great clip of Jeffreys performing “Coney Island Winter” on Letterman.

Happy (Long Weekend) Sunday. Here’s my playlist for this morning. #whatareyoulisteningto

coffeeAnd because it’s a long weekend…a longer playlist.

1. Hypnotized–Fleetwood Mac

2. Blaze of Glory–Joe Jackson

3. Water of Love–Dire Straits

4. Contact High–Allen Stone

5. I May Not Be Your Kind–Garland Jeffreys

6. Laughing Down Crying–Daryl Hall

7. Minute By Minute–The Doobie Brothers

8. Call Me The Breeze–J.J. Cale

9. Hard To Thrill–J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton

10. Say You Will–Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals

11. How Did We Get From Saying I Love You–Great Big Sea

12. Stolen Moments–John Hiatt

13. Up On This Hillside–Bruce Cockburn

14. New Frontier–Donald Fagen

15. Everything Is Broken–Bettye LaVette


What are you listening to today? #nowplaying

ipodHere are the last 10 songs I listened to, in order, on my iPod in shuffle mode. No editing, no skipping. It is what it is.

1. Frosty–Albert Collins

2. Pilgrimage–R.E.M.

3. Jailbreak–AC/DC

4. That Girl–Stevie Wonder

5. Skinny Legs–Lyle Lovett

6. All Around The World–Garland Jeffreys

7. Jailbreak–Thin Lizzy

8. Roll Over Beethoven–Chuck Berry

9. Let It Be–The Beatles

10. The Trouble With Never–Van Halen

My Favourite Dance: The iPod Shuffle

Not to sound like a commercial, but our house has always been an Apple house. We’ve gone through several Mac computers, and several iPods. But a couple of years ago, when my wife asked me if I was interested in owning an iPod, I said no. I figured the only way I’d be happy with one was if I could get one with a large enough capacity to hold most if not all of my favourite tunes, and at the time I just didn’t feel like spending the money. I was content to listen to my cd’s (the old fashioned way: one at a time) on the home stereo, the car stereo, my trusty cd Walkman or on the boombox on my desk at work.

Then she surprised me. She bought me a 30gb model for my birthday. Depending on song length, that model can hold up to 7500 songs. I’m not quite there, but not far off. I don’t use it to watch movies as I find it drains the battery quickly and the peaks and valleys of the audio can make it tough to watch on a noisy subway.

Fast forward to today–I never leave home without it. I bought this inexpensive wireless adapter to listen to it in the car and while not perfect, it works way better then some of the more expensive models I bought (and returned) at the Apple store. I also have a great set of speakers that I use at the office.

So do I still listen to my music one album at a time? Hardly ever. I love doin’ the Ipod Shuffle. It’s like Radio Free Dave, all Dave, all the time. My own personal radio station. I love the surprise element. I never know what song is going to come next. Sometimes the mixes are great, sometimes they can be a little jarring. But that’s the fun. As an example, here’s a list of the last 20 songs that I listened to in shuffle mode:
1. Pump It Up–Elvis Costello
2. What Love Can Do–Bruce Springsteen
3. Revolution Rock–The Clash
4. Suffragette City–David Bowie
5. It’s For You–Pat Metheny Group
6. Fantasy–Earth, Wind and Fire
7. Fly Away–Lenny Kravitz
8. I Can See For Miles–The Who
9. Breathe On Me–Ronnie Wood
10. Life On Mars–David Bowie
11. This Time Baby’s Gone For Good–Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes
12. Weather Channel–Sheryl Crow
13. Mystery Kids–Garland Jeffreys
14. The Wrong Thing To Do–Mudcrutch
15. Hey Julie–Fountains of Wayne
16. Darlington County–Bruce Springsteen
17. A Higher Place–Tom Petty
18. Don’t Count Me Out–Charlie
19. Another Nail In My Heart–Squeeze
20. Downstream–Supertramp

Do you own an iPod or similar portable music player? Do you always have it with you? Do you do the Shuffle?