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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Nightlife'
Artist - Eddie Manion

Eddie “Kingfish” Manion, a Lakewood native who was an early member of the Asbury Jukes, actually joined the E Street Band on saxophone for the band's Wrecking Ball tour and High Hopes Tour.

Manion attended Berklee College of Music after graduating from Lakewood High School in 1970 and as a youth played in several bar bands on the Jersey Shore. These included Lazarus who recorded an album in Nashville on the Shelby Singleton Label (Amazon Records) in 1970, The Dark Side and Little Joe and the Kokomo's.

It was while playing with these bands along with his late night jamming at the infamous Upstage Club in the late sixties that he first met Southside Johnny, and Bruce Springsteen.

And so, as an original member of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes,and after stints in bands such The Miami Horns, Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, and, as mentioned, Bruce Springsteen, let alone being a member of the Robert Cray Band (1991-1994), saxophonist Manion struts his stuff solo with Nightlife.

"I wanted to make a record that was like, this is what I sound like," the Tenor and Baritone Sax legend says. Unlike the saxophonist's first album, 2004's Follow Through, this one is all covers: Gene Pitney's "Town Without Pity," "Stardust" (a song first composed in 1927 by Hoagy Carmichael, with lyrics added in 1929 by Mitchell Parish), "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" (The Platters), and others such as both "Amazing Grace" and "Tenderly" all bring back such incredible musical times-of-my life memories.

Indeed, the album gets its name from the Willie Nelson-penned "Night Life," originally a hit for Ray Price. Also among the covers on this delightful, truly expertly sequenced album is the Springsteen tune, "City of Night," the Darkness on the Edge of Town outtake from The Promise. Given more than a nod, here Manion makes it a stunning six-minute arrangement. "I did a cool medley with it," Manion is happy to admit. "I go into King Curtis's 'Soul Serenade' and then back into 'City of Night'."

In closing, Nightlife from Eddie “Kingfish” Manion is a real joy to behold, and it should - as it did me - transport you back to a lovely time in your life, track after track. And, if you want to play Who's Who on here, well, Nightlife's many guest players are several friends from the E Street stage: "Charlie Giordano is on it and so too is Curt Ramm,' Manion reveals. Add to that Joe Grushecky, who plays guitar on Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come," and the scene is set for your evenings entertainment, my friends.

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk