New Jersey musician John Lyon, better known as Southside Johnny, has played with major artists such as Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters — not to mention being the front man to both the Asbury Jukes and the Poor Fools.
It’s the latter of his two bands that he’ll be fronting when he hits City Winery on Sunday for an acoustic show that will feature some special guests. But you’ll have to stop by to see who shows up.
amNewYork spoke with Lyon about the show.
This is your first time playing the guitar on stage in a while. How does it feel to return to the instrument?
The musicians I have are so accomplished that they look at me with disdain when I pick up the guitar, but it’s OK — I’m used to that. It was a challenge for me: I gave up playing guitar years and years — decades — ago. I decided to get back into it; this is semi-acoustic music. I play some guitar, I play some harmonica, I play some bass. Everybody plays everything.
What music will you be playing on this tour?
Really, it’s the kind of band where we just wing it. A lot of people will have songs they want, and we know most of them — and the ones we don’t know, we can still fake it. It depends on the evening, how the audience is and if they call out requests. We’re willing to do just about anything to have fun, and since it’s a winery, we will have fun.
What can fans expect from your new album in the works?
That’s a soul/R&B album [called “Soultime!”]. As a matter of fact, I’m heading up to Woodstock to finish mixing it today, and hopefully it’ll be out by August.
What are your post-tour plans?
I always have things that I want to do — another Poor Fools album. And I have a Billie Holiday tribute album that I’m working on. A bunch of stuff like that.
If you go: Southside Johnny & The Poor Fools are at City Winery on Sunday at 8, 155 Varick St., 212-608-0555, $35-$45