I don’t know anything about Danny Federici’s childhood, but based on “Flemington,” the title track of his 1996 debut solo album, it must have been a pretty happy one. The song, named after the Hunterdon County town in which the E Street Band keyboardist grew up, has a bright, bustling feel. People in Flemington, the song says to me, were busy, but happy, maybe even cheerful about it.
Federici — who died in 2008 at the age of 58, of melanoma — released two solo albums in his lifetime, both in a jazz-pop instrumental style that was far removed from E Street Band territory. He played some shows in support of them, too.
“One of my favorite lines is, ‘So this what it feels like to stand in front of the band.’ Bruce got a kick out of that one,” he told Chorus & Verse magazine in 2002.
The Flemington album was later reissued as Danny Federici. His second solo album, Out of a Dream, came out in 2005.
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. To see the entire list, click here.