If you’re looking for a band that evokes that classic Asbury sound, look no further than The Shady Street Band.
The band, who’ll be performing tonight at The Wonder Bar’s Happy Mondays concert series, has such a fat, soulful, booty-shaking sound, that it immediately has images of E Street and The Jukes. Any time the band rips into one of their sets, they’ll have you dancing and rocking the whole night through.
Pop-Break caught up with Shady Street’s Ryan Gregg to talk about the Asbury scene, their sound and Happy Mondays.
The Shady Street Show Band Are (Members of the Band): Ryan Gregg (Keys, Lead vocals), Emily Smith (Lead Vocals), Zac Silva (Guitar), Russ Eia (Bass), AJ Dumm (Drums)
We Formed In: Spring 2012
We’re Based Out Of: Red Bank, NJ
Any Records Coming Out Soon? We have a bunch of online content coming out soon, including a few videos of us recording at Coffee Haus Studios in Freehold with a full horn section. The videos should be out within the next month. We will also be releasing another EP around the Fall of our own material, as well as a dual LP with our friends from Hot Blood where we’ll be covering each other’s tunes.
Our Sound Has Been Likened To: Old school rhythm and blues, soul, and rock.
Famous/Awesome Bands We’ve Performed With Before: We’ve had the pleasure of playing with many bands in the Asbury scene. Part of the “show band” aspect is that we’re able to bring up tons of guests to come throw down with us on stage. We’ve done collaborative shows with Elevator Art, the Battery Electric, Mad Feather Group, and more and are currently even working on a dual LP with our buddies from the punk band Hot Blood. We even performed the entire Nightmare Before Christmas at the Stone Pony a couple years back with tons of guests from the local scene. That was a fun show.
Pop-Break: You don’t see bands like The Shady Street Show Band anymore these days. What inspired the decision to go with a much bigger band, complete with a horns section?
Ryan Gregg: In the spirit of being a “show band” we always try to keep things interesting on stage. Horns are a fun element to play with that adds depth to the band and another very entertaining aspect to the show. Believe me, if we had regular access to a full string section and gospel choir, we’d be writing to them as often as we could too.
PB: Shady Street was the Stone Pony house band for a while, how did it feel to have this designation at such a historic venue?
RG: We were all raised on the Jersey Shore and the Stone Pony is a venue that has been important to all of us growing up. They were very good to us there and let us try a lot of things out on stage when we were really only first getting started as a band.
PB: If someone is reading this and discovering you for the first time and wants to listen to a song of yours to truly get the essence of The Shady Street Show Band, which song would it be and why?
RG: I think that song would definitely be “Grin.” It’s upbeat, fun, and gets people moving. The message of the song is essentially the message of a lot of the songs I write. Shit is going to get interesting, just keep on smiling and we’ll all get through it together.
PB: What can the people coming out to Happy Monday expect to see from you guys in terms of a live experience?
RG: An entertaining, energetic, and raucous good time.
PB: The Asbury scene has so many bands performing in it right now, so what makes The Shady Street Show Band stand out — from a musical standpoint?
RG: There are a lot of great singer/songwriters out there who are writing great tunes and there are a lot of great bands that can shred, jam, and groove. We try and do both. Nothing like being able to write a thoughtful tune and then get a burning band to bring it to life.
PB: What do you have planned for the rest of 2014?
RG: Writing, playing, performing. We have some live videos coming out soon as well as an EP due out in a few months, some collaborative projects thrown in the mix, maybe a music video or two. As long as we’re working, we’re happy.
The Shady Street Show Band performs tonight at The Wonder Bar along with Prehistoric Forrest and The Drawn Drapes
Bill Bodkin is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Pop-Break. He can be read weekly on Trailer Tuesday and Singles Party, weekly reviews on Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire, Hannibal, Law & Order: SVU and regular contributions throughout the week with reviews and interviews. His goal is to write 500 stories this year. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English and currently works in the world of political polling. He’s the reason there’s so much wrestling on the site and is beyond excited to be a Dad this coming December. Follow him on Twitter: @PopBreakDotCom