Southside Johnny - Into the Harbour (2006)

Southside Johnny
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In late 2005 Southside Johnny and a reconstituted Asbury Jukes released Into the HarbourHarbour is a surprise treat, recalling the great rock ‘n soul blend of Southside Johnny's best music.  Johnny's gravelly voice sounds like it has been to hell and back, but it works well with Harbour's bluesy rock material, especially on the fantastic opening number, a rousing cover of the Stones "Happy," as well as the great rock cuts "Tear Stained Letter" and "Nothing But a Heartache."  But there is little doubt that Harbour is, in its heart, a soul album.  It is at its best capturing, in live concert-sounding fashion, the soulful sounds of Detroit ("Dancing on the Edge of the World,"), Memphis ("The Time Between" and "All In My Mind") and L.A. ("Don't Call Me Baby," complete with 70s style horn and string sections).

In late 2005 Southside Johnny and a reconstituted Asbury Jukes released Into the HarbourHarbour is a surprise treat, recalling the great rock ‘n soul blend of Southside Johnny's best music.  Johnny's gravelly voice sounds like it has been to hell and back, but it works well with Harbour's bluesy rock material, especially on the fantastic opening number, a rousing cover of the Stones "Happy," as well as the great rock cuts "Tear Stained Letter" and "Nothing But a Heartache."  But there is little doubt that Harbour is, in its heart, a soul album.  It is at its best capturing, in live concert-sounding fashion, the soulful sounds of Detroit ("Dancing on the Edge of the World,"), Memphis ("The Time Between" and "All In My Mind") and L.A. ("Don't Call Me Baby," complete with 70s style horn and string sections).

I'll confess that I put Into the Harbour into my CD player obligingly, with only moderate interest, but it turned out to be one of the biggest surprises I've heard in the past year -  a fun celebration of soul and rock and a reminder of why we listened to Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes in the first place.  Highly recommended.

By Chris Rizik

 
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