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Jeffries, Gary - 2011 Middle Class Man

ARTIST: Jeffries, Gary
ALBUM: Middle Class Man
LABEL: Gatorjaw Records
SERIAL: 885767667594
YEAR: 2011


LINEUP: Gary Lee Jeffries - lead & backing vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonicas * John Goodwin - lead guitar, engineering * Steve Fletcher - bass * Jimmy Rogers - keyboards * Vince Hammond - b3 * Randy Trent - drums * Kristin Kincaid - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Free * 02 Heaven Winds Blow * 03 Middle Class Man * 04 Ashes To Ashes * 05 Know Ya Too Well * 06 Blood On The Highway * 07 Flowers On My Grave * 08 Mississippi Girl * 09 Free My Soul * 10 Bad Moon Rising * 11 Southern Pride * 12 Free In Heaven


This is Gary Jeffries first solo album, 'Middle Class Man'. Gary's music career began with his audition for Quiet Riot in 1986 that turned heads. But it was his second place score on Star Search, as front man for Asphalt Ballet that landed Gary a deal with Virgin Records. Since then Gary has performed with Southern rock band The Regulators and Alligator Stew.

The Songs
'Free' sets the pace with some nice slide guitar, this is song will warm the hearts of all Southern rock fans. Then following on is 'Heaven Winds Blow' starts as an acoustic tune, but ends up being a lot rougher and reminds me of the 'Gator Country' days of Molly Hatchet. 'Ashes To Ashes' is a typical country song. Then, straight back into the honk tonk rock, with 'Ya Know Too Well' where Jimmy Rogers pounds his piano aka Billy Powell style. 'Blood On The Highway' follows with Gary showing how powerful his vocals are, an interesting addition is the harmonica, which is discretely in the background. 'Flowers On My Grave,' a rock sounding ballad, with some more slide guitar. 'Mississippi Girl' up next with its big lead guitar. A song that ebbs and flows, then ends up sounding like The Outlaws 'Green Grass and High Tides'. 'Free My Soul' is next. Then a Credence Clearwater Revival cover of 'Bad Moon Rising', this is the worst version I have ever heard, it is slowed down and I can only envision it as a poor pub song. 'Free In Heaven' ends the disc, and again, another sound I found it hard to relate to, maybe it was it the third and final song with 'Free' in the title.

In Summary
I have enjoyed Gary in his various guises, over the years. Some people have described this as the best Southern Rock release in a long time, I disagree although Gary has a very powerful voice and I admire him for writing about the struggles of the working man's predicament. Only a few songs grabbed my attention. In the words of Six Shot Revival 'this is not your daddy's southern rock'. Unfortunately it's more like my grandma.

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