I’m doing something tonight I should have done 35 years ago – going to see Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul at the Ames in Burnsville.
He’s better known as Steve Van Zandt – aka “Miami Steve” from the E Street Band, or Silvio Dante from The Sopranos. And as I wrote in this space six years ago, the band’s debut album Men Without Women is one of my three favorite albums. Ever.
Men Without Women was a horn-driven “white soul” record reminiscent of Stax/Volt, that reminded some critics of the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street. It was recorded with an all-star cast of New York / New Jersey artists – Dino Danelli and Max Weinberg on drums, Felix Cavaliere and Roy Bittan on keys, Jean Bouvoir on bass, and the horn section from the Asbury Jukes (and, later, the Max Weinberg Seven and, today, the E Street Band).
And it was glorious. This was from two years ago:
This? Probably more like thirty years back, with the Asbury Jukes:
And from Mw/oW, for my money my favorite:
Van Zandt didn’t follow up with retro soul; his next album, Voice of America, was garage rock delivered with all the subtlety of an Angie Craig ad. His nest three records all descended into worldbeat and a concomitant shrill far-left politics. His sales reacted accordingly.
He was able to fall back on The Sopranos, his gig in the E Street Band, and Little Steven’s Underground Garage, one of the best syndicated music radio shows in the business. But somewhere along the way he got the message; people liked the original Disciples.
And so that’s what he’s put together for this tour – not quite the original, but close:
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So my phone’ll be off from 7PM til further notice tonight…