For Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes – ‘comfortable’ has never been a word associated with their brand of raucous, roots-tinged rock and bluesy reverie. The Jukes have more than 30 albums on their resume, thousands of acclaimed live performances across the globe, and a vibrant legacy of classic songs that have become “hits” to their large and famously-dedicated fan base.
“With the Jukes, you’re out there every night leading this great rock n’ roll circus, giving it everything you’ve got” says Southside Johnny Lyon.
Just last year, the iconic Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes released the highly-acclaimed SOULTIME!, their first new studio CD of all original material in five years, on Leroy Records. SOULTIME! celebrates the transformative power of ‘70s soul music and represents a return to – as Southside sings – “just letting the music take us away”. This latest release encapsulates everything that fans cherish about Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. The pattern of horns plus rhythm – each song painted with catchy choruses, top-notch string arrangements and gospel charged vocals – keeps on coming.
SOULTIME! has been extremely well-received both here in the U.S. and overseas, where the band also just wrapped up a successful tour in the UK, The Netherlands and Germany. Music Riot in the UK proclaimed “The more you listen to it the more you realize it is a work of genius. Johnny’s voice is sublime and would melt a heart of stone.”.
While critics in the U.S. also raved – “I’ve been waiting for Southside Johnny to make this album for almost 40 years. It’s the best record of his entire career. If you really have soul, no further explanation necessary” said Dave Marsh/SiriusXM Radio/E Street Channel Host. And, “Soul music is not a genre, it is a way of life. Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes keep the classic R & B clock spinning hot and forward on Soultime!, one of their best records since they first burst out of that New Jersey night,” praised music writer David Fricke.
On their New Jersey home turf, The Aquarian Weekly said “Soultime! brings them to a completely different level and delivers genuine R&B-soaked soul right from the Jersey Shore. Oh, and did I mention that Soultime! is the best album he’s ever recorded.” New Jersey Arts Daily raved “Soultime! is, indeed, one of the most enjoyable albums of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes’ long career.”
The CD was written and produced by Jeff Kazee and John Lyon, and was recorded at Lakehouse Recording Studios in the Jukes’ hometown of Asbury Park, NJ. SOULTIME! features Southside Johnny 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. The band will continue to tour steadily throughout the U.S. and overseas.
The Jukes’ last CD release was 2012’s Men Without Women: Live 7-2-11, recorded live on July 2nd, 2011 at the Stone Pony’s Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes performance with Little Steven Van Zandt. The disc featured 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.
2010’s “Pills and Ammo” was The Jukes last studio CD, with other recording highlights being the critically acclaimed “Hearts of Stone” and “Better Days” albums. Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes first achieved prominence in the mid-1970s, emerging from the same New Jersey Shore music scene as now legendary contemporary and pal Bruce Springsteen.
Southside’s first three albums, I Don’t Want To Go Home, This Time It’s for Real, and Hearts of Stone were produced by Steven Van Zandt (E Street Band, The Sopranos) and featured songs written by Van Zandt and Springsteen. “I Don’t Want To Go Home” became Southside’s signature song, an evocative mixture of horn-based melodic riffs and soul-searching lyrics. Rolling Stone Magazine voted Hearts of Stone among the top 100 albums of the 1970s & 1980s.
With a decades-long successful career, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes continue to deliver their soul-searing brand of raucous blues and R&B, with material mined from their many albums, featuring hits like “I Don’t Want To Go Home”, “Love On The Wrong Side Of Town”, “The Fever”, “This Time It’s For Real”, “Talk To Me” and their definitive fun-time cover of “We’re Having A Party”. The Jukes’ legendary high-energy live performances always satisfy with their classic blend of Stax-influenced R&B and gritty, Stonesy rock and roll.