On Saturday, The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ rolled out the welcome mats for Melvin Seals & JGB featuring guitarist John Kadlecik and trumpeter/singer Jennifer Hartswick.
Moonalice opened the show with a few special guests of their own in tow. Moonalice started their opening set with “Last Time”, after which Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers and his son Dylan joined the band for a cover laden set which included “Hard to Handle”, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay”, and The Chambers Brothers’ classics “Love, Peace, & Happiness” and “Time Has Come Today”. Jason Crosby shared duties on the keys and B3 organ.
Melvin Seals & JGB took the stage just before 9 p.m. and chose “Expressway To Your Heart” for the opening slot. Jennifer Hartswick immediately made her presence felt as she joined Lady Chi on vocals to help lead the way with a gorgeous trumpet solo. The Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” followed, along with takes on Bob Dylan‘s “Tough Mama” and “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”, where Melvin took his only lead vocal of the night on the latter. Jimi Hendrix’s “Hear My Train A-Comin'” came next, and the JGB staple really got the crowd moving with John Kadlecik unleashing a force on guitar and vocals.
Watch the band’s performance of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” from Saturday’s show below.
Melvin Seals & JGB with John Kadlecik & Jennifer Hartswick – “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” – 10/19/19
[Video: Major Tom]
Up next was a trio of Hartswick-led covers to close the set, beginning with Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” and continuing with Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers To Cross” and wrapping the first half of the show with Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody”. Hartswick and Seals spent much of the night wearing wide-eyed smiles and giggling at each other in admiration, and the crowd was very much in tune with the creative love-fest happening from their little slice of heaven on stage right. Such a patient, professional, and soulful musician, Hartswick was greeted with a beloved roar every time she stepped forward.
Smokey Robinson‘s “Second That Emotion” got the much more energetic second set off to a fast start, followed by one of the night’s highlights in a cover of Lee Dorsey‘s “Get Out of My Life Woman”. As if in a nod to his masterful solo on the Lee Dorsey tune, bassist John-Paul McLean took the vocal lead for another Beatles cover in “Here Comes The Sun”, which transitioned right into a fiery cover of The Meters’ “Hey Pocky Way” with drummer Pete Lavezolli rounding out the vocals for the rhythm section. A soulful take on The Band‘s “I Shall Be Released” ensued before the music continued with a two-song segue starting with Grateful Dead‘s “Scarlet Begonias” into Jerry Garcia‘s own “Reuben and Cerise” to close the 75-minute set.
A triumphant performance of Garcia’s “Deal” filled the encore slot, complete with a roar from the back room where much of the jubilant crowd saw the Yankees playing the Astros on the television screens.
You can listen to a full audio recording of the show below:
Melvin Seals and JGB w/ John Kadlecik, Jennifer Hartswick – 10/19/19 – Full Audio
For a full list of upcoming Melvin Seals and JGB tour dates, head here. Scroll down for a gallery of photos from Saturday’s show, courtesy of Marc Komito.
Setlist: Melvin Seals & JGB | The Stone Pony | Asbury Park, NJ | 10/19/19
Set One: Expressway To Your Heart (The Soul Survivors cover), I Saw Her Standing There (The Beatles cover), Tough Mama (Bob Dylan cover), Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Bob Dylan cover), Hear My Train A-Comin’ (Jimi Hendrix cover), Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover), Many Rivers to Cross (Jimmy Cliff cover), Gotta Serve Somebody (Bob Dylan cover).
Set Two: Second That Emotion (Smokey Robinson cover), Get Out Of My Life Woman (Lee Dorsey cover), Here Comes The Sun (The Beatles cover) > Hey Pocky Way (The Meters cover), I Shall Be Released (The Band cover), Scarlet Begonias (Grateful Dead cover) > Reuben and Cerise