The Friday Morning Listen: Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes – Hearts Of Stone (1978)

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This summer, for New Englanders, has had an awful lot of summer in it. Maybe too much. Sure, we like to complain about it a lot but as I’ve said many times, we New Englanders reserve our right to bitch about the weather in ALL seasons.

I’ll tell you one thing, this extended stretch of heat combined with the squishy humidity has left me feeling sort of disoriented, calendar-wise. We usually get a slow ramp-up in the summery aspects, and then there’s a couple of periods of hot & sticky, to be followed by the relative dry heat of August. This year we’ve been wallowing in the haze for so long that unless I look at the date on my computer screen, I’m not really sure what month it is. Combine that with our recent move and you’ve got what amounts to a summer of…uhm…WTF?!

But things are not all bad, and we have what we think is the key ingredient that will correct our stew of confusion. That ingredient is Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. We are heading over to the seacoast this evening to partake in what we used to think of as our end of the summer ritual. This year, the difference is that Mr. Lyon and company will be hitting Hampton Beach over a month early. Hey, we’ll take it. It’s been a weird few years for us so just about anything that brings a bit of normalcy is a good thing. We’ve seen the South twice so far this year and figure that one more time can’t hurt.

There’s also an E-Street connection here. These multiple dates have served to fill in for the Springsteen Wrecking Ball shows that we have not been able to attend. It just didn’t work out for us on this tour, the first one we’ve missed in the post-Reunion era. A first-world problem? Maybe, but you’re got to make the most of your allocated time. I figure that the act of improving your own existence ripples out into the world.

So Southside, secret Jukes weapon Jeff Kazee, and the rest of the band will be helping to extend those ripples. Not bad for a bar band from Jersey.

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at [email protected]
Mark Saleski
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