Southside Johnny at the Robin 2

First published in Music

Southside Johnny – Robin 2, Bilston.

Along with Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt and several other musicians, John Lyon, aka Southside Johnny, formed a unique amalgam of rock, rhythm and blues and soul acts in the New Jersey shore towns of the early 1970s.

Forty years later he is still going strong with his Asbury Jukes sidekicks, including saxophonist Ed Manion, strongly tipped to be the replacement for the sorely missed Clarence Clemons in Springsteen’s E-Street Band.

They opened in Bilston with Cross that Line and Passion Street, demonstrating the band’s more recent, post 1990s song writing prowess.

Manion was dominant with the sax on numbers like This Time It’s for Real and Love on the Wrong Side of Town.

Southside, who turns 62 this year, sang with a raw passionate voice like a cross between Sam Cooke and Tony Bennett on numbers like Long Distance after revealing the band had a 6am flight to catch to Amsterdam the next morning.

Jeff Kazee on keyboards sang the Motown classic soul number Get Ready and the closing numbers paid homage to Springsteen with Broke Down Piece of Man and The Fever.

Michael Reeves.

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