Sunday, January 29, 2012

"We Take Care of Our Own" - Bruce the Boss Sets New Tour Dates


The Boss is back and better than ever.

Bruce fans get ready for Springsteen’s 17th studio album in March, one of the most anticipated releases of 2012.

Calling it his "angriest" recordings as of yet, his feature single, “We take care of our own”, sounds anything but mad, yet reflective of the issues of our hard economic times.

According to, a source who spoke to the Hollywood Reporter, "He gets into economic justice quite a bit. It's very rock'n'roll. He feels it's the angriest album he's ever made."

The insider added, "The Boss" wrote and recorded the majority of the album before the Occupy movements started around the world "so he's not just setting headlines to music."

The album is entitled, “Wrecking Ball,” dedicated to the old Giants Stadium in East Rutherford inside the Meadowlands Sports Complex that was demolished in 2010. The site is now called MetLife Stadium, which lies adjacent to the former sports arena.

The album is politically charged and acknowledges the current state of America. Springsteen’s Manager Jon Landau tells Rolling Stone the disc has "social overtones" and a "very pronounced spiritual dimension. It extends and deepens the vision that has animated all of Bruce's work.”
Music enthusiasts are calling his latest work “vintage” Springsteen, which includes unexpected textures, loops and electronic percussion with influences ranging from hip-hop to Irish folk rhythms.

First listeners are already labeling it 'terrific', according to

No release date has been officially set yet, but Springsteen is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the South by Southwest music conference on March 15 in Texas. Critics are hoping the album will be released to coincide with that appearance.

But according to iTunes, fans won't have to wait that long, Wrecking Ball will be out in England on March 5 and in the United States on March 6.

Rolling Stone says the album was produced by Ron Aniello, who has worked with Bruce’s wife, Patti Scialfa, and Candlebox, and features guest appearances from Tom Morello and drummer Matt Chamberlain.

Springsteen's last album, 'The Promise', was released in November 2010, and was a double CD compilation of previously unreleased songs drawing from the “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” early sessions of the late 1970's.

It was just last year the E Street Band lost their beloved saxophone player, Clarence Clemons, who died from complications after a stroke at age 69.

The band has announced UK tour dates for June and July.

You can listen to "We Take Care Of Our Own" on Springsteen's official

The single is now available for digital purchase through Amazon.

Consequence of Sound provided Wrecking Ball’s track-list:
01. We Take Care of Our Own
02. Easy Money
03. Shackled and Down
04. Jack of All Trades
05. Death to My Hometown
06. The Depression
07. Wrecking Ball
08. You’ve Got It
09. Rocky Ground
10. Land of Hope and Dreams
11. We Are Live
12. Swallowed Up (iTunes Bonus Track)
13. American Land (iTunes Bonus Track)

Bruce Springsteen's new album, tour will be first without Clarence Clemons
Clemons, fondly referred to as "The Big Man", played a central part in Springsteen’s music, complementing the group’s electric guitar and brass rhythms in songs like “Born to Run” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out”, that echo doo-wop, soul and early rock ’n’ roll.

Bruce Springsteen gave his fans some good news Sunday night: Springsteen and the E-Street Band will be going on tour in 2012.

According to, European dates will run from the middle of May until the end of July, and information on United States dates will be coming soon. The site also writes that the music is almost done for the upcoming new album, which is yet untitled and without a confirmed release date.

This marks the first tour for Springsteen and the E-Street Band since 2009 and also since saxophonist Clarence Clemons died this summer. reports that Ron Aniello produced the album. He has worked with Gavin DeGraw and Springsteen’s wife Patti Scialfa in the past.

Many people have been wondering who will be playing saxophone in the future for Springsteen. The Linn County Leader points out that the name of Clemons’ nephew Jake has turned up in its share of rumors about the E-Street Band’s future.

Springsteen posted a revised edition of the eulogy he delivered for Clemons: “Clarence was big, and he made me feel, think, and love, and dream big. How big was the Big Man? Too f***ing big to die. You can put it on his gravestone, you can tattoo it over your heart. Accept it... it's the New World.Clarence doesn't leave the E-Street Band when he dies. He leaves when we die.”

Information on the upcoming album have been kept relatively quiet. Early reports had it being low-key, and having a political edge. Andy Greene of Rolling Stone posted on Twitter Sunday: “They've done a remarkable job keeping the lid on details of this new Springsteen album. Does anyone know one single thing about it?”

Here is We Take Care Of Our Own Lyrics by Bruce Springsteen @

i’ve been knockin’ on the door, there’s ... of throne
i’ve been lookin’ for the map that leads me home
i’ve been stumblin’ on good hearts turned to stone
those good intentions have gone dry as bone
we take care of our own
we take care of our own
wherever this flag’s flown
we take care of our own

from chicago to new orleans
from the muscle to the bone
from the shotgun shack to the superdome
we needed help but the cavalry stayed home,
there ain’t no-one hearing the bugle blown
we take care of our own
we take care of our own
wherever this flag’s flown
we take care of our own

where’s the eyes, the eyes with the will to see
where’s the hearts, they run over with mercy
where’s the love that has not forsaken me
where’s the work that set my hands, my soul free
where’s the spirit to reign, reign over me
where’s the promise, from sea to shining sea
where’s the promise, from sea to shining sea
wherever this flag is flown
wherever this flag is flown
wherever this flag is flown

we take care of our own
we take care of our own
wherever this flag’s flown
we take care of our own
we take care of our own
we take care of our own
wherever this flag’s flown
we take care of our own

Tickets to Bruce Springsteen shows in East Rutherford and Newark went on sale Friday morning (Jan. 28). Tickets for Philadelphia shows went on sale Saturday.

Springsteen announced the April 3 and 4 shows at the Izod Center in East Rutherford and the May 2 show at Newark's Prudential Center as he released the schedule of the first leg of his upcoming "Wrecking Ball" world tour Tuesday. An album of the same name is set for release on March 6. The tour begins March 18 in Atlanta with U.S. portion concluding with the Newark show. It also includes shows on March 28 and 29 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Tickets to those shows go on sale Saturday.

Tickets for the New Jersey shows are available The Philadelphia tickets are available through

This will be the E Street Band's first performances since the death of saxophonist Clarence Clemmons. The band's current lineup includes: Roy Bittan - piano, synthesizer; Nils Lofgren - guitar, vocals; Patti Scialfa - guitar, vocals; Garry Tallent - bass guitar; Stevie Van Zandt - guitar, vocals; and Max Weinberg - drums; with Soozie Tyrell - violin, guitar, vocals and Charlie Giordano - keyboards.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Somers Point Nightlife Revival?

Officials say Somers Point's nightlife is riding on the Route 52 causeway
By ROB SPAHR Staff Writer | Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 1:00 am

Somers Point’s Bay Avenue once served as the backdrop for major motion pictures, such as the cult classic “Eddie and the Cruisers,” and as the venue for live music albums such as Chubby Checker’s “In Person.”

And, like a summer breeze, the music of major acts used to drift down the one-mile waterfront strip, which in its glory days of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s was a premier destination for nights of dancing and drinking.

Gone are those days. The iconic nightclubs have closed or reformatted, and the avenue is now quiet.

City officials expect the upcoming completion of the $400 million Route 52 causeway project will bring an economic resurgence in Somers Point. Some, however, say it will take more than that to make Bay Avenue a viable destination again.

“Without a doubt the bridge being done will help us, and will give us a panoramic view into Somers Point that will really beautify that area and make it look great,” Mayor Jack Glasser said. “But things have changed since the heavy rock and roll days of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. People want a more family-oriented environment, with good places to eat and things to do....That’s what Bay Avenue will have to be.”

Bay Avenue is a nationally recognized historic district that dates to the 1700s, but the more modern history of the avenue is what people most often discuss.

“As automobiles became more prevalent and it became easier for people to drive to Ocean City, especially in the ’50s and ’60s, that’s when the nightlife on Bay Avenue really started to mushroom,” said Sally Hastings, president of the Somers Point Historical Society. “It became a mecca, because Somers Point was the wet town (Ocean City was and is dry) and it offered the kind of music that was very popular at that time.”

“Where’s the action? … Where’s the fun? — At the ‘Point,’” read the back of Chubby Checker’s 1963 album.

“If you were looking to have a good time, Bay Avenue was ‘the’ place, this and Wildwood,” said Pat Pierson, who has owned and operated Bayshores II Restaurant on Bay Avenue since 1987. “It was where the excitement was.”

Atlantic City casinos brought a change and by the mid 1980s, the excitement on Bay Avenue was waning, although the avenue would still remain popular as a place to party.

“(Casinos) ... offered a different kind of entertainment that people were gravitating to,” Hastings said. “That’s when businesses here started to struggle and close.”


“Bay Avenue used to be like going to a playoff game at the Meadowlands,” Pierson said “Now it’s like going to a high school game.”

Even though Bay Avenue is clearly different than it was during its heyday, some, such as Lou DeScioli, the director of the city’s Economic Development Committee argue it’s still vibrant.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” DeScioli said. “Some people think that it would be good to have that New Orleans Mardi Gras-style atmosphere here again. But I personally think that the Bay Avenue of today is better off, in terms of the economic vitality of the city.”

DeScioli said the expansion of Shore Medical Center (the former Shore Memorial Hospital), the opening of multiple fine-dining restaurants and the construction of more, and better-looking housing have contributed to better residential and economic climates.

Most recent discussions on the avenue have been about its potential.

“Picture that you’re coming from Ocean City and you’re on the crest of the new bridge ... looking down in this bayfront community with a Key West-style boardwalk that follows the bulkhead along all those business and is filled with bikes, baby carriages and people meandering up and down,” said Greg Sykora, the vice chairman of the city’s Planning Board.

Sykora was referring to one of the concepts of the city’s new Vision Plan. The plan recommends the construction of a long pier with boat slips near the public beach and sailable replica of the USS Intrepid to serve as a tourist attraction. The changing of ordinances — such as those controlling noise and outdoor dining — to make Bay Avenue more business friendly were also suggested.

“And once that area is dredged, it will be a place where transient boaters can come to eat in our restaurants and enjoy our bayfront. And there will be a water taxi that goes back and forth to Ocean City,” Sykora said.

That vision — created during about a year of surveying Somers Point residents, business owners and visitors — may be unrealistic.

“I really think that the theater is more important to Somers Point than the bridge,” Hastings said. “The theater will have the ability to bring in 250 people every night there is a show. So while the bridge will make it easier to get to and from Ocean City, the theater will bring them here for a longer period of time.”

Jim Dalfonso, the chairman of the Theater Collaborative of South Jersey, which is renovating the Gateway Theater, said he was a little surprised by how much hope is resting on the Gateway, but said the theater can “absolutely” live up to it, as long as enough money can be raised to complete its renovation.

“Even on a night when we have a light house, there will be 200 people here and a percentage of those people will be going out to eat or drink afterwards,” said Dalfonso, of Upper Township, adding the renovation could be completed in nine months if enough funding is raised.

The currently gutted theater’s lobby and second-floor lighting room were recently framed out and the floor was replaced. And Dalfonso said he expects work on the ceiling trusses and roof to be completed by the spring, so work can then move toward rehabilitating the building’s exterior.

And once completed, DeScioli said, the theater offers the best short-term opportunity to increase commerce on Bay Avenue.

“One of the things that we, as a community, can do if we want to do something to immediately improve that district is support the revival of the Gateway,” he said.

But of everything about Bay Avenue’s history, some say the thrill of simply going there could be the hardest to revive.

“The music is gone forever,” Pierson said. “I just hope they can make Bay Avenue sing again.”

Contact Robert Spahr:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mesterhazy Kicks off 2012 Jazz Season

George Mesterhazy kicked off the 2012 Jazz season with style in a fundraiser for the Somers Point Jazz Society at Sandi Point bistro.

As he has done previously, Mesterhazy plays an annual benefit concert to support the jazz society that has brought jazz acts to Somers Point for some years now.

The former Atlantic City pianist has been holding down the piano gig at Cape May's Merion Inn of late, but he still gets out to sit in on recordings and do special shows like this one, which also included saxman Mike Pedicin, Jr., Barry Miles, Tim Lekan and others.

Sandi Point, formerly Mac's, is now one of the hottest live music venues at the Jersey Shore, featuring Big Band Mondays - settling in after the new years with Ed Vezinho/Jim Ward Big Band, and a jam session the following night with the Tim Lekan Sextet. Lew London and Bob Mower have been playing Sandi Point every Saturday night, and the Somers Point Jazz Society seems to have earmarked the place as their new headquarters.

The Somers Point Jazz Society Fundraiser, with Mesterhazy at the helm, is just the beginning of a series of jazz shows that will lead up to April's 2012 Jazz Master Award Reception to honor this year's recipient Bob Perkins, the WRTI radio host and jazz aficionado - "BP w/ the GM," who has his own Wiki page -

The fundraiser featured Mesterhazy on piano, drummer Bob Shomo and Andy Lalasis on bass, who were joined by special guest Barry Miles, as well as other Jazz Society regulars Mike Pedicin, Jr. and bassist Tim Lekan, putting on a show that will help maintain Somers Point jazz during a time of economic uncertainty.

Mesterhazy plays piano every Thursday thru Sunday at Cape May's historic Merion Inn, and has performed regularly at the older, bigger and thought to be more firmly established Cape May Jazz Festival, which had to suspend operations last fall because of financial red ink. The Somers Point Jazz Society is running strong in the black, thanks in large part to strong leadership and supportive musicians like Pedicin, Lekan and Mesterhazy.

Born in Hungry, Mesterhazy came to the United States in the 1950s, escaping Communism with his parents just as the Iron Curtain came down. From a family of musicians and performers, Mesterhazy naturally played the accordion, guitar, organ and other instruments and when his family moved to the Jersey Shore, he formed a Mainland high school band that held down the house gig at the old Strand Hotel in Atlantic City. That's also where the band who played the 500 Club stayed, so he began to sit in with them at Skinny's joint and played other clubs around town. One night, when the piano player got up, Mesterhazy sat down and eventually became known as one of the best accompanists in the business, especially when casinos came to town.

From AC to LA, George played every gig he could get, eventually hooking up with Rebecca Parris, a Boston native who sang with Dizzie and the Count. He recorded "Spring" with her, and while accompanying Parris at a small club in DC, Mesterhazy met Joel Siegel and (Sir)Richard Rodney, still in their tuxes from attending a Kennedy Center honors event. Through them Mesterhazy met the late, great Shirley Horn and with her he recorded "Loving You," which was nominated for a 1998 Grammy.

Mesterhazy also regularly accompanies jazz singer Paula West when she sings at the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City and The Razz Room in San Francisco.

Playing behind Rebecca Parris, Shirley Horn and Paula West is no mean feat, as they are three aces for you, and Mesterhazy didn't just play piano but also arranged the songs for their shows and recordings.

George Mesterhazy at the Merion in Cape May

Adding sax to the mix, Mike Pedicin, Jr. recently held a party at Sandi Point to celebrate the release of his new CD "Searching for Peace," which has been critically aclaimed by serious jazz lovers and should be nominated for some awards.

Pedicin, like Mesterhazy, grew his roots in Atlantic City before branching out to accompany some jazz greats on tours of the world and then returning home to play for us. Pedicin also makes jazz an educational experience, and as a professor of jazz at Stockton State, he takes the music out of the bars and nightclubs and brings it to the schools and libraries, exposing America's unique sound to an audience that normally wouldn't get a chance to hear it live.

The series of jazz education sessions that Pedicin started last summer at the Ocean City library continues on January 15 (2PM) with blues singer Cathy Rocco, on January 22 (2PM) with flutists Mary Lou Newnam doing a presentation on Women Pioneers in Jazz, and on January 29 (2PM) with Monenette Sudler ("The First Lady of Jazz Guitary) conducting a clinic on the music of T. Monk and Wayne Shorter.

I remember Monenette when she played at the old Shire Tavern on the Washington Street Mall in Cape May, and later at the Cape May Jazz Fest, always giving a guitar workshop for students on Saturday afternoon.

Michael Pedicin likes to share jazz with young people and is joined by Bob Ferguson on trumpet, Bob Shomo on drums, Tim Lekan on bass, and John Pruitt on keyboard in a short take of when they appeared at the Jordan Road School in Somers Point and played a well received blues tune by John Coltrane. To see it for yourself to to -

Next door to Sandi Point is the venerable Gregory's, where banjo wizard Franny Smith and the Atlantic City Jazz Band will celebrate Mardi Gras on Saturday, February 25, which will be a tune up for the Somers Point Jazz Socity's Cape Bank JAZZ @ THE POINT 2012. Beginning with a free Thursday night, March 8 with duel shows with the Venissa Santi QUintet at the Mission Point Church (900 W. NY Ave.) and the Luke O'Reilly Quartet at Gregorys, the Festival continues throughout the weekend at Gregorys and Sandi Point. It will include Mulgrew Miller, Keith Holis, Sheryl Bailey, Walt Weiskopf, Three Blind Mice, Jimmy Cobb, Tim Horner, Grant Stewart and Hilary Gardner.

These are all top flight acts that you would never be able to catch unless you went to a big city, and are brought to you locally by the Somers Point Jazz Society.

And it's not over yet. Two weeks later, on Saturday, March 24, the Andrew Neu Quintet will play a lunchtime gig at Gregs and then the Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale 6th Annual Winter Jazz Series Master Award will be presented to Bob Perkins on April 22nd (4PM) at Sandi Point, an event that feature The Joe Mancini Trio.

Joe Mancini also plays piano every Wednesday with bassist Lew Scott at Steve & Cookies in Margate (9700 Amherst Ave.)

Bob Perkins is truly deserving of this award, as "BP with the GM" has been turning us on to some really good jazz for years now. Originally from South Philly, Perkins got his start in radio in Detroit and did news as well as music before returning home to work at the legendary WDAS in its heyday. Since 1997 he has been spinning the discs and interviewing jazz acts at Temple's WRTI, and serving as a master of ceremonies at the Mellon and Cape May Jazz Festivals.

I first met Bob Perkins at the Rusty Nail at one of the early Cape May festivals when he introduced Oscar Brown and recruited Brian Trainer to accompany Brown on piano. It was an amazing performance I will never forget, especially since Trainer and Brown have both passed on.

But Bob Perkins is still plugging away, promoting jazz in general, and the Somers Point Jazz Society and Cape May Jazz Festivals in particular.

Now after this incredible Somers Point Jazz Society Winter Series and Spring Festival are over, we'll have to go back to Cape May and help Carol and Woody get their act back together.

One way the Somers Point Jazz Society stays strong in tough economic times is because of Nick Regine, the founder and guiding light, as well as some core society members who keep things organized and musicians who keep the music going.

You can support the Somers Point Jazz Society by becoming a member. Key Membership Benefits include free admission to Summer and Winter Jazz Series, and member only events, including the annual picnic, discounts on tickets for the Jazz@thePoint Festival and all special event concerts and workshops. You also get advance event notification of shows through a quarterly newsletter and a Membership Card. Become a card-carrying member of the Somers Point Jazz Society. Individuals – $40; Seniors – $25 (60 or Older); Artist – $50; Family (2 Persons in same household) – $60; Patron – $150; Family Patron – $250; Business – $200.

For more info and to sign on go to:


Saturday - January 14 - Billy Walton at a special Tony Marts show at Sandi Point.
Sunday - January 15 - (2PM) Jazz vocalist Cathy Rocco, Ocean City Public Library (OCPL)
Sunday - January 22 - (2PM) Sax/flutist Mary Lou Newnam Women Pioneers in Jazz OCPL
Sunday - January 29 - (2PM) Monnette Sudler The Music of T. Monk and Wayne Shorter OCPL
Saturday - Feb 25 - (8PM) Franny Smith & The AC Jazz Band plays Gregory's Mardi Gras
Thursday - March 8 -(7PM) Venissa Santi Quintet at Mission Point Church (900 W. NY)
Thursday - March 8 -(8:30PM) Luke O'Reilly Quartet at Gregorys.
Friday - March 9 - (8PM) Keith Hollis Quartet at Sandi Point (8&10PM)
Friday - March 9 - (8PM) Mulgrew Miller (8&10PM)/Sheryl Bailey (9:30PM & 11:30PM)
Saturday - March 10 -(8&10) Walt Weiskopf Sextet at Sandi Point
Saturday - March 10 -(8&10) Three Blind Mice at Gregorys.
Saturday - March 10 - (9:30&11:30PM) Jimmy Cobb & Cob's Mob at Sandi Point
Sunday - March 11 - (2PM) Tim Horner Quintet
Sunday - March 11 - (2PM&6PM) Grant Stewart Quartet w/Hilary Gardner at Sandi Point
Saturday - March 24 - (11PM) Andrew Neu Quintet at Gregorys
Sunday - April 22 - (4PM) Jazz Master Award - Sandi Point honoring Bob Perkins, w/Joe Mancini Trio


Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro 908 Shore Rd., Somers Point, NJ 08244 609-927-2300
Gregory’s Restaurant & Bar 900 Shore Rd., Somers Point, NJ 609-927-6665
Ocean City Free Public Library 1735 Simpson Ave., Ocean City, NJ, United States, 08226
Steve & Cookies - 9700 Amherst Ave. Margate
Merion Inn - Decatur Street, Cape May
Mission Point Church - 900 W. New York Ave., Somers Point