The New Jersey blues-rock scene suffered a great loss in 2007, when singer-songwriter-guitarist Bernie Brausewetter died, at the age of 52, of complications from diabetes and congestive heart failure. Brausewetter, who lived in South Plainfield, was a guitar virtuoso who fronted the band B.B. and the Stingers and also played in groups such as Steel Mill Retro, The Slaves of New Brunswick and Supreme Court. He also regularly donated his services to the Xmas Xtravaganza charity concerts that Glen Burtnik has presented annually, most years since 1989, during the holiday season.
Below is a clip of Brausewetter dynamically leading the Xmas Xtravaganza house band (including Burtnik on guitar and Tony Shanahan on bass) through “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus” — a holiday standard that has been recorded by Patti Page, Mabel Scott, the Brian Setzer Orchestra and many others — at The Bottom Line in New York in 2000.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. The complete list is here.