I saw a great show at the Stone Pony last night. I’ve always enjoyed Jesse Malin’s music, but I never got a chance to see him live. His set included a stunning cover of The Replacements’ great song "Bastards of Young". Among Jesse’s own songs, the highlights for me were "Brooklyn", from his first solo album, The Fine Art of Self Destruction, and "Hotel Columbia" from his second album The Heat.
Sometimes I feel a bit sorry for Joe Grushecky. After all, he and his great band, The Houserockers, always put on a great show, but sometimes it’s seems that people come to see him hoping to catch a glimpse of his sometime musical collaborator Bruce Springsteen. I believe that some people actually leave disappointed on those occasions, like last night, that Bruce doesn’t show up. That’s particularly silly in light of the great set that Joe and the Houserockers played. Highlights included "Dark and Bloody Ground", and "Chain Smoking" from his excellent American Babylon album, and a smoking version of the title track from his 1999 live album, Down the Road Apiece. For the encore, Joe was joined onstage by Jesse Malin and local hero Bocciagalupe for a rocking version of The Clash song, "Brand New Cadillac".