Asbury Park R&B/soul legend JT Bowen’s lead single “Love You Just like the First Time” from the Arlan Feiles-produced LP “Dig Deep” is Makin Waves’ music of the week. PHOTO COURTESY OF NOT-POP RECORDS
Once I go to Asbury Park, I take Neptune Boulevard to Springwood Avenue as a result of each time, the West Aspect simply appears to get nicer. That does my coronary heart a variety of good, particularly seeing the makeover of the Turf Membership, a beloved jazz, R&B and soul venue widespread from its opening in 1940, by Springwood in 1956 to its rock ‘n’ soul heyday within the 1980s. of 1960. .
One of the vital widespread soul and R&B singers to name Springwood Avenue his musical house is the good JT Bowen, who fronted such widespread bands as Soul Flame and The Chosen Few. Amongst his bandmates within the latter band was future Rock and Roll Corridor of Famer Clarence Clemons, previously the saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen and the E Avenue Band. Whereas Bruce and different future members of E Avenue had been smashing it just a few blocks away at The Upstage, JT, Clarence and The Chosen Few had the group screaming and sweating at The Turf Membership, The Orchid Lounge and throughout bustling Springwood Avenue.
It has been greater than 50 years since these golf equipment jumped. The Orchid Lounge burned down through the race riots of early July 1970, whereas The Turf Membership was closed, thus extinguishing Asbury’s historic West Aspect music scene. Whereas Clarence subsequently discovered fame on E Avenue, JT continued to rock up and down the Jersey Shore with The Chosen Few till 1976, then went on to guide a band known as Give up till 1981. Simply then, whereas working as a bouncer on the new membership from Clarence. , Massive Man’s West in Pink Financial institution, JT was chosen to entrance Clarence’s backing band, the Pink Financial institution Rockers, touring extensively with them whereas concurrently recording with Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul and Gary “US” Bonds and performing with saxophonist Eddie from Asbury Jukes. Manion and E Avenue Band drummer Ernest “Increase” Carter in The Shore Patrol.
Maybe the spotlight of JT’s storied profession has been sharing the stage with Bruce, singing alongside him on Clarence’s hit “Girl’s Obtained the Energy” in 1985 at Giants Stadium and twice in 2011 at Asbury Park. It has been a decade since these glory days, however like Springwood Avenue and its Turf Membership, JT Bowen is making a comeback. With the assistance of his good buddy and producer Arlan Feiles, a celebrated singer-songwriter from Asbury Park whose grounded mix of folks ‘n’ soul has delighted audiences all over the world, JT has crafted a pleasant new album. On “Dig Deep,” he extracts eight of Arlan’s most introspective songs, together with the island-flavored enjoyable of the LP’s first single, “Love You Just like the First Time.” Makin Waves’ music of the week will rock each the dance ground and the bed room.
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Because the Makin Waves music of the week, “Love You Just like the First Time” can be heard between 6-Eight pm on July 23 on “Radio Jersey” at ThePenguinRocks.com. For those who miss it, you can even tune in anytime at The Penguin both mixcloud.
The dynamite of “Dig Deep” ignites with “Viola,” a contemporary civil rights anthem that would break the chains of oppression with its dignified supply and the cry of a church. The title observe goes past Black Lives Matter and different protests in the direction of a day when all brothers and sisters in creation will dwell in peace, concord, and sustainability if they will “dig deep with some dignity.”
The lighthearted pleasure of “Doin’ the Work,” within the model of Allan Toussaint/Lee Dorsey, makes for a non secular dance about dedication to each love and enjoyable. The LP’s standout observe, the John Hiatt-esque “Angels Amongst Us,” is a soul bullet that can penetrate the toughest of hearts and switch them to mush as its jerky wobble explores life’s divine turning factors in those that love exhibits the best way by the darkness. and lightweight.
The gospel march of “Stroll with Jesus” takes a non secular path, then the trail with Bowen takes one other civil rights flip with the liberty music “50 Miles.” JT sings, “Inform Martin we’re nonetheless marching for him,” whereas recollections of Selma to Montgomery stand as a monument to a dream our youngsters should notice since we’ve not.
“Dig Deep” then closes with “Do not Again Down,” a Springsteen testomony to the necessity to rise up and transfer on with the pressure of grace. There may be all the time hope, that also, small voice that may information us by the desert if we let it. “Dig Deep” embodies that hope, as does the recent paint and soon-to-reopen doorways of The Turf Membership.
I want JT each success with this magnificent and deeply transferring album. I pray that he and Asbury Park’s Springwood Avenue return to the glory they so richly deserve. And I look ahead to seeing him, Arlan and plenty of of our associates on July 27 at a twin listening celebration, additionally for Arlan’s new album Blame Me, on the Clinch Clear Gallery in Asbury. Proceeds from donations on the door will profit the much-loved Asbury Park African-American Music Undertaking, whose efforts to revitalize Springwood Avenue and its music scene are narrated right here.
For extra data on JT, go to jtbowenmusic.com.
Bob Makin has produced Makin Waves since 1988. Observe Makin Waves on Fb and call Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org.