John Luraschi has long been part of the area’s original rock gangs formed during the music explosion of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and he’s kept his rock and roll roots deep in the local Jersey sand. S.O.A.P. co-creator and bassist for Boccigalupe and The Bad Boys, John has also played with, or been involved with, many individuals that have gone on to rock super stardom. Oddly enough, even though he’s played on many other artists’ records, The End Of The Road is John’s debut offering.
Long time “Shoreworld” friend Joey DeMaio took the reigns as producer and guitarist, providing Shorefire Studios to record this CD. He also had the great help from Jersey Shore vets like guitarist Billy Hector, as well as vocal and B3 assists from George Meyer, drums from Frank Mara, the sax work of Danny Walsh, the harmonica wails of Kenny Sorensen and vocals from Rose Montana, Pam Moore and even “The Boss.”
Yep, Bruce not only shares lead vocal chores with Luraschi on the Springsteen-penned “Savin’ Up,” but he also contributed another of his songs for the disc, “Seeds.” An almost unheard of act by any other big star, its discreetly par for the course when it comes to Bruce Springsteen supporting close friends.
Highlights of the disc are “You Got Me Shakin,” a rocker that features DeMaio’s trademarked six-string rippage. Always the consummate guitarist, DeMaio’s skill paves hot on these tracks. Springsteen’s “Savin’ Up” grinds out a three-chord boogie and shows a carefree Springsteen reliving some glory days with Luraschi as the party vibe blows right through your speakers on this cut.
Sorensen’s backwater harmonica wails kick up alongside Hector’s snaggle-toothed blues lines and DeMaios grungy rhythms. Great background vocals by all and of course terrific “in the pocket” bass work by John Luraschi, reminding me of the S.O.A.P. sound and the days when many of these guys ruled the “city by the sea.”
Some other great tunes are “Heart Full Of The Blues,” featuring George Meyers’ heavy duty Hammond B3 tracks and DeMaios’ talk box squawk and “I’m Gonna Love You,” a rocker in the vein of Deep Purple with DeMaio’s guitar bridge lead just blowing the song into the stratosphere.
John Luraschi’s disc might be called The End Of The Road but I hope that’s far from true. He has the tough heart of a New Jersey musician and like others before him; he has secured a place amongst the legends here at the shore and in the hearts of his friends. Please come out and celebrate the rich life and music of one of our own.
John Luraschi and band will be performing at the Wonder Bar on Sunday, March 22, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. While the CD is free, a $5 donation for the American Cancer Society is mandatory. For further information please head over to the webpage at myspace.com/theend0ftheroad (Please note the 0 in “of” is a zero).
The Stone Pony’s 35th Anniversary—Live! Feb. 14th
The Stone Pony kicked out their weekend party in style, welcoming the many friends and fans that had frequented the establishment over the years since that winter night back in 1974 when the club opened its famed front doors during a snowstorm that shut down the heat and netted them about $1 profit for the night. It’s always amazing to know that people come from all around the world to see the Stone Pony. I’ve been going there since 1979, and it’s always been in existence, no matter what the obstacle.
But that’s the depth of a club that’s so famous that its one of only three clubs listed in the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall Of Fame. Longevity and history are always consistent here. Saturday’s VIP open bar and great food were a classy touch to a sold out event that featured Outside The Box, a group that’s just getting better with every show I see them at as well as the well known signature sounds of Bob Burger and the Marathon set by shore guitar king Bobby Bandiera. Bobby’s display of guitars during the night was great for me and my buddies, who kept nudging me going, “Wow, look at that one.” The guy’s the king and he’s paid his dues alongside this establishment. Hey, even The Aquarian’s own Hal Selzer got into the historic act, as bassist for Bandiera he partook in a marathon set, and did it with style.
The Stone Pony has taken many twists and turns throughout its existence but the one thing that has remained consistent are the fans and the musicians that shape its ongoing destiny. At 35 years of age the Pony’s not doing badly at all. She has a face lift, great staff and all of us. And you can bet we’ll be showing up at those front doors for many years to come. stoneponyonline.com.