“We don’t stop playing when we grow old, we grow old when we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw said that, and it’s something that both I and Garland Jeffreys believe to be true. He proudly celebrated his 70th birthday with a show, released his masterful Truth Serum album, and will stay young through 2033. “We’ll be playing – constantly! Like I tell my friends,” Garland shared with this World Café crowd, “I’m on a 90-year plan.”
“Rock and roll means never having to be on time.” I believe that too, but evidently Garland doesn’t. He was on time, in tune, and on fire for this eclectic, energetic, exhilarating set that featured old (“Mystery Kids”/“Spanish Town”), new (a six-pack of intoxicating Truth Serum tracks!), borrowed (an astounding, 8-minute- long, rip-roaring, , killer-diller version of “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”/“96 Tears”), and blues in several hues (“Truth Serum”/“‘Till John Lee Hooker Calls Me”).
I love Garland Jeffeys because he writes with devotion, records with emotion, and always performs with passion. On “Hail, Hail Rock ‘n’ Roll,” when Garland shouts-out “Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino” he namechecks three-quarters of my Rock ‘n’ Roll Mount Rushmore! Yours too? Then catch Garland Jeffreys live while he’s young. You’ve got twenty years left!
– Dennis McDonough