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Little Steven

SteveAs I pondered this Memorial Weekend Music Friday post, there were several directions I could have gone. Classic R&B is always in style for the unofficial start to summer in North America. Bombastic Hair Band songs sometimes work, as do some '60s rockers...anything that screams "drop the top" and crank it to 11 as you cruise the twisty turny roads in your ragtop.

Then, I stumbled upon a video last night of Little Steven Van Zandt, urging lawmakers to restore the Arts in K-12 curriculum...and, the selection was locked in.

The song "This Time It's for Real" (penned by Steven for his brother from another mother, Southside Johnny) has always been a summer, top-down staple. The blistering horns, the R&B styling and the New Jersey swagger of this track often earned it first position on my road trip mixtapes and CDs. This is the song that kicks off the journey. This is the song that sets the tone for the day, the drive and, today, the summer.

To really appreciate the song, you must immerse yourself in the studio track from Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. To put a smile on your face that will last all weekend, you must watch the video of Little Steven, Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny and Jon Bon Jovi (New Jersey's Rock Mafia) in a rave-up from 1998. The sound sucks...but watching the fun these four have on this song is magic.

And, for those Jonesin' for some R&B...we offer this fan video of Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul doing Arthur Conley's classic "Sweet Soul Music."

Admit it, you didn't want to work today...add these to your collection and ride.'re welcome.

Image Credit: Rolling Stone



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Bill Geist

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