Jeff Slate “Till New York City Dies” – a love song

Photo: Bob Gruen

As much a  love song to a beloved city as a love song to a beloved person, Jeff Slate’s latest single from his new album ‘The Last Day Of Summer‘ (has that been a Rick and Morty episode title, and if not, why not?) out on May 17th via Schnitzel Records is a dreamy meander that came about from meanders which may not have been totally dreamy since they were pandemic one.  But… anyway, Jeff Slate  explains that  “‘Till New York City Dies’ was born during long, solitary walks around the City during the pandemic lockdown. The chorus came first, and of course anchors the song, but because the music had an unexpected bounce to it, it pointed the direction of the song in a positive direction, rather than sombre or hopeless.  Strangely, because it was tracked individually, with all the players working to my acoustic guitar and voice, everyone seemed to know just what to do without me having to explain it. Ben Gordelier, the drummer from Paul Weller’s band, was first, and added a shuffle beat and upright bass that helped point the way, but his bandmate, Steve Cradock, Weller’s long-serving lead guitarist, chose to add piano, and his part lightened things even more.  Earl Slick’s country-tinged, Stonesy guitar, and the atmospheric parts that Leonard Cohen producer Don Miguel added were icing on the cake to the rest of the parts that co-producer Eric Lichter and I added, taking a sad song and making it better.”

You’ll have noticed that Jeff Slate has some quite big names helping him out on this song, and that’s true of the whole album.  He may have started out in the mid-1980s US East Coast post-punk scene, playing CBGBs and other legendary clubs of the day as the singer, and then made three albums with his Kinks/Mod inspired band The Badge, but he has also shared the stage with the likes of Roger McGuinn, Jeff Tweedy, Willie Nile, Margo Price and Sheryl Crow.  Naturally he’s made some friends along the way, and on ‘The Last Day Of Summer‘ he called on Dave Stewart, Earl Slick, Duff McKagan, and members of Paul Weller’s band and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

About Jonathan Aird 2747 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?
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