Bruce Springsteen was a surprise guest at a jam session at the Asbury Park Music and Film Festival Friday night, with the singer joining fellow E Street Band members, Southside Johnny and other New Jersey rockers for a covers-filled set at Asbury Park’s Paramount Theatre.
Springsteen sang Little Richard’s “Lucille” and played guitar on a cover of Muddy Waters’ “Got My Mojo Workin’.” Steven Van Zandt opened the all-star gig by serving as frontman on “Blues is My Business” and Chuck Berry’s “Bye, Bye Johnny,” the Asbury Park Press reports.
The concert also featured the rarity “Ballad of Jesse James,” a track the then-Bruce Springsteen Band recorded in 1972 and remained unreleased until the arrival of the Born to Run companion album Chapter and Verse in 2016. For Friday night’s performance, founding E Street Band drummer Vini Lopez handled vocals.
The gig also reunited Springsteen with former E Street Band members Lopez, keyboardist David Sancious and drummer Ernest “Boom” Carter.
The jam session was held in celebration of Just Before the Dawn, a new documentary focused on the Upstage, a short-lived music venue in Asbury Park that served as a breeding ground for many of the artists who congregated onstage Friday night at the Paramount Theatre, including Springsteen, Van Zandt and other E Streeters.
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“It’s great,” Springsteen told the Asbury Park Press after the show. “It’s nice to see new talent in Asbury and the old guys still cranking it out. It’s very enjoyable.”