Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes - Into The Harbour (2005)


Released in 2005

This is an excellent, soulful, bluesy album from Southside Johnny and, like most of post 2000 material, while not matching the glory days of the seventies, is certainly superior to his eighties output. It is one of his most "soul" albums.


1. Happy
2. Dancing On The Edge Of The World
3. You're My Girl
4. Into The Harbour
5. Hang Down Your Head
6. The Time Between
7. When Rita Leaves
8. Don't Call Me Baby
9. Tear Stained Letter
10. All In My Mind
11. Nothing But A Heartache                                

The Rolling Stones' "Happy" would seem to be tailor-made for The Jukes kicking, punchy horns and also for Southside's gritty, earthy vocal delivery. It is true. It is a great opener. "Dancing on The Edge Of The World" is a wonderful, anthemic-sounding piece of Asbury Park-ism. This is Southside Johnny as we have loved him for decades. His voice is yesterday, today, tomorrow. Glorious. The track sounds like a classic late sixties Temptations number. "You're My Girl" is solid enough, but a bit clumsy in places. The bass line and soulful middle vocal section saves it however. Even on the album's comparative chuggers, Southside's voice soars above everything else.

The title track is a slow, mournful ballad with Southside's voice showing a few signs of age, but somehow that enhances the appeal of the track. "Hang Down Your Head" is a Tom Waits cover given a marvellous Jukes-style makeover, while "The Time Between" is a big, brassy soulful ballad. Delbert McClinton's evocative, melodic tear-jerker "When Rita Leaves" is just magnificent. Southside on absolute top form. I love this song.

"Don't Call Me Baby" is a Philadelphia soul-sounding number, with some Stax horns. "Tear Stained Letter" is an upbeat, rockabilly-sounding romp. "All In My Mind" is a typical big, brassy Asbury Park rock ballad. "Nothing But A Heartache" brings to mind The Small Faces' "Tin Soldier", initially, before those huge horns kick in. It also has more than a few Animals' influences in its backing. Overall, this is an enjoyable album but I have to admit I don't play it as much I do the previous one, "Going To Jukesville".


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