After more than three decades of performing and recording with his Asbury Jukes, Jersey’s own “Southside” Johnny Lyon released a CD, Songs From the Barn, with a backing band dubbed The Poor Fools earlier this year.

This Friday, Sept. 13, said tunes will make their way out of said barn and onto the Iron Horse stage for a one-night only engagement that Lyon promises will offer a decidedly different experience than his fans are accustomed to.

“With the Jukes, you’re out there every night leading this great rock ’n’ roll circus, giving it everything you got, but still… there are songs you long to play, songs you always wanted to do, but don’t quite fit in,” he explains. “It might be great covers you always wanted to pull out, songs buried deep in your sacred bottom drawer, or songs that have just been whispering to you over the years to have their day on stage. The Poor Fools is the forum for us to do this kind of material live and enjoy it with all these wonderful musicians, and, intimately, with our great audience.”

Featuring longtime Jukes collaborator Jeff Kazee, bassist John Conte and multi-instrumentalist Neal Pawley, Lyon’s sonic Ship of Fools is rounded out by none other than Billy Joel six-stringer Tommy Byrnes, Springsteen violinist/fiddle player Soozie Tyrell and, occasionally, members of the Dylan and Saturday Night Live camps.

In addition to six new, rootsier original tracks, Barn is stuffed with quirky covers of tunes by Randy Newman, Bob Dylan, Bo Diddley, Lucinda Williams and Alvine “Shine” Robinson.

Live, Lyon says that country, bluegrass, Tom Waits and even “underplayed Jukes material” is fair game—and that he plans on rotating in singers and instruments as he deems appropriate nightly so as to push everyone out of their comfort zones.

“I lost feeling in my fingers many years ago, but promised myself I was going to accept the challenge of playing guitar in a live setting—and that time is here,” he concludes with a laugh, “with this great group of musicians ready to cover up my mistakes.”

Southside Johnny & The Poor Fools perform at 7 p.m. and tix are $35 in advance, $40 at the door. To get yours—or obtain more information—kindly point your browser to


Also, Somers, Conn.’s Four Town Fair (—taking place at its permanent grounds on Egypt Road Sept. 12-15—will offer performances by Grand Band Slam winners/local notables The Nifty Fifties Band, Aquanett, Tirebiter and Truckstop Troubadours free with fair admission.

“We have a couple of new acts this year, and others like Aquanett have become regulars that still pack them in,” reports the Four Town Fair’s Janice Steinmetz. “But we try and hire local acts with a following and mix it up so there is something for everyone in terms of genres.”•

Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, P.O. Box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email

Author: Gary Carra

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