Between Prince, Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Trump, 2016 can kiss my ass. So there’s no better way to say good riddance to arguably the worst year in decades than to head on down the shore to get rowdy with Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank on New Year’s Eve. “I was sad to see a lot of people go,” says Southside. “It was shocking. As far as the election, we can get through this. I have friends, though, in Marin County, California, who are legal aliens and they’re still very frightened.”
News from the Jukes camp is that a follow-up to one of 2015’s best albums, Startime!, is in the works (“we’ll see where it goes,” says the singer, “I don’t try and force these things”). Also—get this!—Southside’s working on a solo project of all Billie Holiday songs! Unlike his 2008 all-Tom Waits CD, Grapefruit Moon, the Lady Day CD will be with an octet, not a big-band.
This is a guy who has taken a grand total of one year off in the last 50 years.
“I have no wishes at this point,” says he. “My health is good, the band is strong and it’s still satisfying to work.”