Little Steven To Release New Studio Album, Soulfire
Nearly two decades have elapsed since Steven Van Zandt issued a solo album, but on May 19 that drought comes to an end. That’s the day the popular E Street Band member will release Soulfire–a collection of original songs penned over the past several years, along with several choice covers. Van Zandt—better known to the multitudes as “Little Steven”—is backed on the record by the newly configured Disciples of Soul, the band he put together back in the early ‘80s.
“I’ve always been very thematic with my work, very conceptual,” says Van Zandt, describing the new album in a prepared statement. “I need a big picture, I can’t just do a collection of songs, that doesn’t work for me. In this case, the concept became me. Who am I? I’m kind of my own genre at this point. So I tried to pick material that when you added it all up, really represented me. So there are a couple of covers, a couple of new songs, and some of what I feel are the best songs I’ve written and co-written over the years. This record is me doing me.”
As reported by Rolling Stone, Soulfire had its genesis in performances Van Zandt and the Disciples of Soul staged in 2016. The band learned 22 songs in preparation for the concerts, and then retreated to the studio to record 12 of them. Van Zandt characterizes the material as a throwback to better times, musically speaking.
“I have very little interest in the modern world, and I’m not in any way conflicted about that,” he explains. “I grew up in a renaissance period, a very lucky time when the greatest music ever made was also the most commercial. We’ll never see that again so for me, there’s only one criteria, which is greatness. That’s all I care about. Is what I’m doing reaching for greatness? Whether I achieve it or not, that is one hundred percent of my criteria.”
Pre-orders of Soulfire are available at Pledge Music, which is also offering a limited number of rare and exclusive items. Van Zandt and the band will perform at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey, on April 22. Additional North American dates are expected to be announced soon.