Known as the Godfather of the “New Jersey Sound,” Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes takes you back to the boardwalks of Asbury Park with his unique nod to ‘70s soul and good, old-fashioned rock ‘n roll. The band recently unveiled Soultime!, the first new studio album of original material in five years.
In support of the new release, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes will perform Jan 28 at The Florida Theatre. Written and produced by Jeff Kazee and Johnny Lyon, Soultime! was recorded at Lakehouse Recording Studios in the Jukes’ hometown of Asbury Park, NJ and is described as a “collection of vintage-sounding contemporary soul”.
Highlighting the 11 tracks on Soultime! is “Looking for a Good Time,” a tribute to Curtis Mayfield’s 70’s release Curtis. The tracks “Spinning” and “All I Can Do” summon the grittiness that Isaac Hayes and David Porter brought to their best work for Sam & Dave. The funk flavored “Reality” conjures up memories of Bobby Womack’s soundtrack to Across 110th Street.
“This album was more for fun and to take people’s minds off their worries and not try to express any anger or anything like that, but just the joy of music,” says Lyon. “That whole landscape of late 60’s and early 70’s R&B and Soul, that’s what we were listening to. I mean, even if the song is about something down like a guy breaking up with his girlfriend or something like that, it still has that rhythm and that melody and that feeling that you want to dance to.”
“Soultime!” features “Southside” Johnny Lyons on vocals and harmonica, Jeff Kazee on keyboards and vocals, Glenn Alexander on guitar, bassist John Conte, Chris Anderson on trumpet, John Isley on saxophone, Neal Pawley on trombone and drummer Tom Seguso.
With a decades-long successful career, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes delivered their soul-searing brand of raucous blues and R&B, recorded over 20 albums and became known for huge hits like “I Don’t Want To Go Home”, “Love On The Wrong Side Of Town”, “The Fever”, “This Time It’s For Real” and “Got To Get You Off My Mind”.
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes have been recording albums since 1976 and are often associated with their Jersey counterparts, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. They have recorded and performed several Springsteen songs, including “The Fever” and “Fade Away“. Springsteen also performed with the band on numerous occasions and was a guests musician on the 1991 album Better Days. During the band’s formative years Miami Steve Van Zandt acted as the band’s co-leader, guitarist, songwriter, arranger and producer while other E Streeters including Clarence Clemons, Max Weinberg, Garry Tallent, Ernest Carter, Patti Scialfa and Soozie Tyrell have all performed, toured and/or recorded with the Jukes.
The band’s horn section – the Miami Horns – has also toured and recorded with Springsteen. More than 100 musicians have been members of the Asbury Jukes, including Jon Bon Jovi who has the band as an influence. Bon Jovi toured with the band as a special guest and the Jukes’ Bobby Bandiera and Jeff Kazee have also toured with Bon Jovi.
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes released their last live CD, Men Without Women: Live 7-2-11, in 2012. It was recorded live at the Stone Pony and features live versions of the songs from the Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul 1994 album of the same name, along with three Asbury Jukes bonus tracks.
Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes have always delivered level of consistency with their sound, and Soultime! is no different. The soul comes straight right from the Jersey Shore in a way that just makes people feel good.
“There are times where you realize that one of the greatest gifts you can give to somebody is a chance to take their mind off their troubles and remind them that there’s great beauty in life too and great joy,” Lyon says. “Music does that for me. It always has.”
Soultime! is available on iTunes, Amazon and other online musical outlets and on the band’s website at www.southsidejohnny.com.