Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes have released their most rocking album in years, a set called “Pills and Ammo.” So it makes sense the brass-fueled New Jersey troupe would promote it at ... a blues festival.
“Hey, you take ’em as you find ’em,” Southside Johnny Lyon says of the group’s billing at Windsor’s 16th Annual Bluesfest International. “We’ll do some blues, don’t worry. We’ll fit right in.”
But Lyon and company are most excited about playing the new material, which features collaborators such as Gary U.S. Bonds, along with his wife and daughter, on the track “Umbrella in My Drink,” and John Mellencamp’s guitarist Andy York.
“I don’t have a game plan; I just go with the flow,” Lyon, 62, explains. “Everyone’s down, the economy’s so bad, I just thought this is a perfect time for rock ‘n’ roll. People need to vent their frustration and anger and fear and lose their minds. I didn’t think it was the time for an introspectful, soulful love album or anything like that.
“It just so happened I got a copy of ‘Sticky Fingers’ by the (Rolling) Stones and ‘Exile on Main Street,’ and somebody gave me a copy of a Small Faces record they found at a yard sale. I was listening to all these guitars screaming and though, ‘That's what I want to do.’ So that’s where we came from this time.”
Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes perform at part of the 16th Annual Bluesfest International at 11:45 p.m. Saturday, July 17, at Windsor’s Riverfront Festival Plaza. The festival runs Friday through Sunday, July 16-18, and also features performances by Foghat, Tab Benoit, Janiva Magness and the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie & the Country of Miracles. Tickets are $10-25 per day and $35 for the weekend. Visit www.thebluesfest.com for more information.
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