Stepping Out of the Shadows-Glenn Alexander & Shadowland / New York Horns
There have been numerous incarnations of the Asbury Jukes over the five decades since Southside Johnny Lyon began his musical journey. Some of those extraordinarily talented musicians include the likes of Richie “LaBamba” Rosenberg, Mark Pender , Bobby Bandiera and Jon Bon Jovi, all of whom were Asbury Jukes at one time or another over the years.
The Glenn Alexander & Shadowland album is the latest entry from the Southside Johnny music incubator that should delight both “Jukesters” and music aficionados alike. Alexander says the name Shadowland “evokes a sense of unreality – mysterious phantoms in an indeterminate place, shrouded in uncertainty”.
Shadowland as also the name of a roadhouse club where , according to Glenn Alexander, the first electric guitar debuted in 1932 in Wichita, Kansas – the town where Alexander says he “cut his teeth, both literally and musically”.
Shadowland members are composer, guitarist and vocalist Glenn Alexander , bassist Greg Novick who plays bass guitar , Tom Seguso handles the drumming duties, the ever present Chris Anderson wails on the trumpet and flugelhorn ,while saxophonist John Isley and trombonist Neal Pawley fill out the horn section. Oria sings both lead and background vocals.
Highlights from this high energy twelve song debut album include “Memphis Soul”, an upbeat and danceable rhythm and blues track, complete with lilting vocal harmonies , “Blues For Me & You” and “Get A Life”, with Southside Johnny playing his legendary blues harp and “Earl Erastus” is a horn laden blues song with soulful guitar solos and vocals . The song was inspired by Glenn Alexander’s grandfather ,who Alexander told Brooklyn Roads was a “really interesting character ” and lived on a Kansas farm.
The New York Horns album is a creation of Chris Anderson and John Isley and features Asbury Jukes keyboardist Jeff Kazee , drummer Shawn Pelton , guitarist Glenn Alexander , trombonist Neal Pawley and Tony Tino is on electric bass, with additional contributions from the”Beehive Queen” Christine Ohlman, Southside Johnny Lyon and Marc Quinones, who adds timbales and congas . Outstanding tracks include “Song For Levon” , a tribute to Levon Helm ,featuring harmonica from Southside Johnny , as well as “More Than Tears” and “Nothing Left To Say”.
Both of these albums can expand the musical horizons of blues, rock and Americana roots music lovers and warrant a place on playlists everywhere.