Who the Hell Is John Eddie?
First Appeared at The Music Box, August 2003, Volume 10, #8
Written by T.J. Simon
Imagine Bruce Springsteen as the glowing center of a rock ’n‘ roll solar system. Legitimate solo performers with a real stake in his career like Nils Lofgren, Clarence Clemons, and Little Steven Van Zandt would be his close-in planets (Mercury, Venus, and Earth, if you will). Other artists who find themselves in the gravitational pull might include New Jersey bands that have opened for or performed with Springsteen in the past. Place Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes in the neighborhood of Saturn, and you get the idea. If you'll allow me to beat this metaphor to death, the Pluto of this system would be New Jersey roots rocker John Eddie. His claim to fame is that Springsteen has joined him on stage a few times, and he is currently opening for Southside Johnny on a national tour.
On his latest release Who the Hell Is John Eddie?, listeners will hear a lot of Springsteen-style rock. Unfortunately, it’s more along the lines of the Springsteen from Lucky Town than the one from Born to Run. The songs range from extremely well-written roots rock (Low Life, Family Tree) to so-so ballads (Place You Go, Everything), and his lyrics are too often mired in attempts at humor that come off as self-pity in otherwise decent tunes. He laments his age on Forty, infusing the song with the f-word (not forty, the other one) 14 times in a little over three minutes. At the risk of sounding like Bill Bennett — my casino limit is way lower, by the way — the repeated f-bombs just seemed a bit excessive and pointless. On Play Some Skynyrd, Eddie complains about bar crowds who don’t seem particularly interested in hearing his original songs. Sadly — and to be quite candid — I feel their pain. ½
Of Further Interest...
Who the Hell Is John Eddie? is available from
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box