Southside Johnny’s New Live Album Will Make You Proud to be From New Jersey
All of my fellow New Jerseyans, whether they’re a fan of the music or not, can acknowledge the deep rooted musical history that New Jersey, and more specifically the Jersey Shore contains. It’s hard to imagine the Asbury Park scene at any point from the 1970s until today without the one staple who has kept the city rocking and rolling through the good times and the bad. You can thank Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes for that.
Yes, Bruce Springsteen will sing about Asbury Park, and Bon Jovi will preach to his crowds about how great the place is, but Southside Johnny has played to hundreds of crowds in and around the Asbury Park area while consistently putting out new, good material for his fans.
The most recent release is a live album, recorded live in, where else, the Stone Pony in Asbury Park on July 2nd, 2011. Southside Johnny, the Asbury Jukes and friends performed Little Steven Van Zandt’s 1982 album, Men Without Women from start to finish. If you are familiar at all with the Asbury Park music scene, and it’s tendency to always bear surprises and guest appearances, this show was no different. Of course Little Steven Van Zandt would show up to be a part of this memorable night.
From the second you turn this album on, you get the sense that you’re standing outside in Asbury Park, holding a beer in your hand on a warm summer night. The way Southside Johnny and the Jukes perform the songs from Men Without Women makes the sound seem bigger than you could imagine. When you listen to performances like “Until The Good is Gone”, “Under The Gun”, and “Forever”, you get a perfect glimpse of the raw rock n’ roll sound that has made Asbury Park famous.
After the full-album performance is complete, Southside Johnny and Little Steven close out the show with an electrifying encore consisting of “This Time It’s for Real”, “Broke Down Piece of Man”, and “It’s Been a Long Time” along with a long heartfelt speech from Little Steven. When this show actually took place, it was on the heels of the passing of Clarence Clemons, the Jukes old piano player, Kevin Kavanagh and the man who signed Southside Johnny, Steve Popovich. Van Zandt went on about how radio stations in the late 70s decided to stop playing music with horns, the week their debut album came out. He then dedicated the final song to those that were lost.
I strongly recommend this album to anyone who is a fan of the New Jersey rock ‘n roll scene. Listen to it at home with your friends and family, listen to it driving down the highway, listen to it anywhere. It won’t disappoint.
To buy this album, click here.