There are very few voices in music that are soulful, rich, and distinctive enough to be considered a paradigm of their genre. Southside Johnny possesses one of them. On Friday, October 11 at the World Cafe Live in Philadelphia, you will have the chance to experience this performer who has been repeatedly described by his audience as “legendary.”
With over 30 albums to his credit and having shared the stage with such luminaries as Bruce Springsteen, Little Steven (Van Zandt), and Max Weinberg, Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes have a reputation for delivering an intensely potent live show. In anticipation of Friday’s performance, Southside Johnny agreed to answer a few questions for Examiner.com.
Examiner: What are the key elements that make a Southside Johnny show so spectacular?
Southside Johnny: Spectacular? If you say so. I think our main idea is to make music and have fun. That’s why people keep coming to see us. The band is great, we have tight, terrific soloists and a commitment to giving the fans a good time. Plus there’s me . . . for comic relief. What more could you want? Free beer?
E: What do you hope listeners take with them from your music?
SJ: It would please me no end if people remembered the songs and left singing them. I just want folks to have a good time. There are songs that I hope touch them and songs I hope make them laugh. Dancing is good, too.
E: What was the catalyst, the moment you knew your life would be music?
SJ: There were many moments that led me to music. Seeing James Brown in Asbury Park, talking to Garry Tallent, Steve Van Zandt and Bruce and being emboldened by their dedication to being musicians. But it was when I really felt like I was finding my voice that I thought I could make something out of a musical life. Little did I know how grueling it would be! But, hey . . . I’m still standing.
E: If you had to choose only one single moment to remember from your long career, what would it be?
SJ: Way too many moments to pick just one. Besides, I’m looking towards the future and not into the past. Don’t look back, something might be gaining on ya.
E: What do you hope history books will say about you in the distant future?
SJ: “What in the hell was he thinking?”
Friday’s band features Jukes collaborator/musical director Jeff Kazee on Hammond B3 organ and piano, Glenn Alexander on guitar, John Conte on bass, drummer Tom Seguso, trombonist/guitarist Neal “The Dude” Pawley, Chris Anderson on trumpet, and John Isley on saxophone.
For tickets, visit: www.worldcafelive.com.
For more information on Southside Johnny, visit: www.southsidejohnny.com.