Interview: Steven Van Zandt AKA Little Steven AKA Silvio Dante AKA Frank The Fixer
I spoke with SVZ at Carroll Studios in Hells Kitchen before the group blasted through a pair of tunes from the Soulfire album for WFUV Public Radio. Vaz Zandt spoke about his latest album but also looked back on how a hurricane helped he and Southside Johnny create the Jersey Shore sound and forever change what it meant to be a bar band. Springsteen fans will also enjoy his remarks about The Boss as a soul singer and his favorite E Street Band songs that were initially left unreleased. Hear the radio show featuring a generous interview HERE.
Little Steven toured this year behind the Soulfire album – his first as a bandleader since ’99. It’s a marked contrast since his previous album 1999’s Born Again Savage which was a garage-y power trio recorded with Adam Clayton (who called recently) and Jason Bonham. The stacked new group revives The Disciples Of Soul name first seen on Van Zandt’s debut, Men Without Women, that came out in ’82.
The Jersey Shore Sound architect is surrounded by a crack band boasting three fabulous backing singers as well as a five piece horn section. Here’s how it breaks down…
Marc Ribler – GuitarLowell “Banana” Levinger – Piano/Mandolin Jak Daley – Bass Charley Drayton – Drums Andy Burton – Organ/Strings/Accordion
Eddie Manion – Baritone Sax Stan Harrison – Tenor Sax/Flute Clark Gayton – Trombone
Ravi Best – Trumpet Ravi Best – Trumpet Ron Tooley – Trumpet
Soulfire was arranged and produced by Van Zandt at his own Renegade Studios in New York City, co-produced and recorded by GRAMMY® Award-winner Geoff Sanoff and co-produced and music directed by guitarist Marc Ribler.
The rare break in E Street Band action that Bruce is using to make a Broadway run allowed Steven the opportunity to revive The Disciples Of Soul concept and sing some of the best songs that he’s written throughout his career and given to the likes of Southside Johnny and Gary U.S. Bonds to sing. Perfect touches abound with nods to doo-wop, blaxpoloitation, spaghetti westerns, and Etta James. The180 gram wax is recommended…natch!