The “Godfather” of The New Jersey Sound: Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes Rocked The Hard Rock Rocksino!

Southside Johnny ©2016 Loparo Images/ The Rust Belt Chronicles

Southside Johnny ©2016 Loparo Images/ The Rust Belt Chronicles

Southside Johnny (John Lyon) and The Asbury Jukes have been rockin’ the music scene since the mid 1970’s. The band’s name’s origin is simple: “Southside” comes from Johnny’s love of Chicago Blues; “Asbury” from Asbury Park, the suburb where he cut his musical teeth; and, “Jukes” from Little Walter’s band (An American Blues musician). They are Jersey Shore legends who influenced the sounds of both Bruce Springsteen and Little Steve Van Zandt. “It’s Been A Long Time” since the horn-based Jersey Boys have been back to Cleveland… but it was well worth the wait! The entire night long The Jukes brought the full-capacity house to their feet doing the “Tango Til They’re Sore“. They performed a mixture of their classics along with songs from their latest 2015 release at The Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield.


Photo: ©2016 Jim Carver/ The Rust Belt Chronicles.


Photo: ©2016 Jim Carver/ The Rust Belt Chronicles.


The soulful Rock-n-Roll/Rythm and Blues band kicked off the evening with their 2015 single “Spinning“. Southside had the die-hard Jukes fans dancing in their seats from the gate with this new funkalicious R&B jewel. Bassist John Conte along with drummer Tom Seguso, provided a stellar groovy beat. Pianist Jeff Kazee and guitarist Glenn Alexander soared as horn players. Chris Anderson (trumpet), John Isley (saxophone), and Neal Prawley (trombone) lit up the stage. Lyon’s husky vocals kept the crowd engaged from the first note till the last.

©2016 Loparo Images/ The Rust Belt Chronicles

©2016 Loparo Images/ The Rust Belt Chronicles

Next was a stop on “Passion Street”, from the 2002 release Going To Jukesville, followed by a fan favorite “Love On The Wrong Side Of Town”, which can be found on 1992’s The Best of Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes.  Fast forward to 2015, and “All I Can Do” off Soultime! had the crowd swaying side-to-side. Lyon slowed things down a bit with 1991’s “All The Way Home”. 2012’s heart-pumping “Forever” and heart-breaking “Don’t Waste My Time”, from their latest album set the crowd up for two of the Juke’s biggest hits, “Walk Away Renee” and “Talk To Me”, during which the entire crowd sang along.

The party had only just begun as the crowd enjoyed “Tango Till They’re Sore”, “It’s Been A Long Time”, “I’m Not That Lonely”, “Words Fail Me”, “Key To The Highway”, “Woke Up This Morning”, and “My Whole World Ended.”


Photo: ©2016 Jim Carver/ The Rust Belt Chronicles.

The night rounded third with “The Fever”, “Trapped Again“, “I Don’t Wanna Go Home“, and “This Time It’s For Real”. Southside delivered an energetic, feel-good, two-hour dance party right through to a homerun encore of their classics, “Hearts of Stone“,  Sam Cooke’s “Twisting The Night Away”, and their ginormous hit “We’re Having a Party“. In 1982 Rolling Stone voted the album Hearts of Stone among the top 100 albums of the 1970’s and 1980’s.


Photo: ©2016 Jim Carver/ The Rust Belt Chronicles.

Last year, Southside Johnny And The Asbury Jukes released their first all-original record in over five years with Soultime!. The new CD was written and produced by Jeff Kazee and Johnny Lyon, and was recorded in the Jukes’ hometown of Asbury Park. Soultime! celebrates the metamorphic power of the 1970’s soul sound and distinctly represents their dedication to good ole fashioned feel-good music. If you miss the days of putting the top down, enjoying the sunshine, and listening to a delightful sound…this is definitely a CD to add to your collection!


Photo: ©2016 Jim Carver/ The Rust Belt Chronicles.

DSC_3281_02After the show Johnny and the band graciously held a meet and greet with their fans and signed CD’s and Jukes’ memorabilia. Although the line for this event filled the entire lobby into the casino area, the wait was well worth it.  The band mingled and schmoozed with fans late into the evening. What a party it was indeed!

Band Lineup:

Johnny Lyon: Vocals, Harmonica, Keyboards

Jeff Kazee: Keyboards, Accordion, and Percussion

John Conte: Bass, Percussion

Glenn Alexander: Guitar

Tom Seguso: Drums

John Isley: Tenor Sax and Baritone Sax

Chris Anderson: Trumpet and Percussion

Neal Pawley: Trumbone and Percussion

©2016 Loparo Images/ The Rust Belt Chronicles





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Michele Loparo About Michele Loparo

Michele Loparo is a Cleveland native raised with the classical influences of her father and the 70’s music of her mother. At 10 years old she found ACDC’s “Back in Black” vinyl in her Easter basket and her life long love affair with Rock N’ Roll began. “My first born son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 4. He did not respond well to verbal commands, so one day I just sang them to him and BAM! Immediate results. I’ve always known that music was powerful… But in our family it was life changing. When my words failed, Music spoke.” Her son Tristan (the oldest of three boys) is a musician and plays in the local band Destination (Original Raw Music). He studies Recording Arts and is going on to achieve a degree in Music Therapy to help others. “I know for certain that music… in it’s raw form, changed my sons life. Music is not what he does, but who he is.” Michele enjoys attending local venues and experiencing the many talents of North East Ohio’s local musicians as well as taking in as many concerts as possible. “I look forward to working with the Rust Belt Chronicle’s team and sharing the love of all things music with our RBC readers!”


  1. Scott UFO Rox. says:

    Great review .I always felt that Johnny and the Jukes never get the respect of the critics . I seen them play with J Giels in 79 made me a fan to this day. And I agree the new album is great cool music..

  2. Mary Jo Clark-Samko says:

    Missed this concert because of serious illness….got to see you Aug 5th. The best night of my life. Got a hut from John, my picture taken and best of all you sang my favorite song Love is a Sacrifice. That meant so much to me. Out of all the hundreds of people you graced me with this song. You are truly a good man and will always be close to my heart. I have been there since the beginning, no BS records in my collection……LOVE YOU. The band is great.

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