Southside Johnny, who recently released an album titled Detour Ahead: The Music of Billie Holiday, will perform songs from it at the intimate Blue Note jazz club in New York, June 4 at 8 and 10:30 p.m., as part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival. For information, visit southsidejohnny.com or bluenote.net/newyork/schedule.
Southside currently has no plans to do another show like this one, and might never do it again, so for fans, this is a truly a unique opportunity.
The album — which was produced, arranged and mixed by Asbury Jukes saxophonist John Isley — includes songs such as “Don’t Explain,” “Lover Man,” “Crazy He Calls Me,” “In My Solitude” and “Billie’s Blues.”
“Billie Holiday is part of me,” Southside told me in an interview, last year. “I listened to it since I was a baby. My mother and father listened to a lot of Billie Holiday, all through my childhood. She was one of the stalwarts, along with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, and Count Basie, and the rest.
“That’s the stuff that really seeps into you. And I think that all of the doo-wop that I listened to when I was younger, a young teenager, and then you had people like Ben E. King— that softer, romantic, heartbroken stuff, it seems second nature to me. I really have a soft spot in my heart for that. ‘Cause certainly I’ve felt that way myself, many times, and it just seems natural to me.”