I’ve dreamt many days of a rock and roll weekend and this past one will go down as a personal favorite. Along with the energized Wisdom in Chains show at the Broad Street Ministry on Friday I spent Saturday at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park NJ photographing: Sharks, Chuck Ragan, and Social Distortion. Social Distortion has been a favorite of mine since the first time I heard Mommy’s Little Monster in the late 80s. Story of My Life hit the streets when I was homeless and having a lot of trouble with the law. As I grew older and ¿wiser? the lyrics have touched me in different ways. I’ve been down, lonely and tired. Social D’s music has picked me up and gave me someone to commiserate with. I hope you enjoy these photos and appreciate the journey.
First to take the stage was UK’s Sharks. It would be hard not to think of The Clash while listening to this English punk band, but you can also hear echos of Gasslight Anthem and Green Day in their music. I would be surprised if these kids don’t leave a big mark on the music scene and radio for the next few years. They’ll be doing the Warped Tour after finishing the current series with Chuck Ragan.
Chuck Ragan might be familiar to our readers from his previous life as frontman for the Gainesville based punk band Hot Water Music. His solo career as an edgy folk singer has struck a chord with many including Mike Ness. Joe Ginsburg on stand up bass and Jon Gaunt on fiddle provided excellent backup for Ragan’s guitar, harmonica and earthy voice.
Been 33 years and ten thousand tears and Social Distortion is still bringing it. Their latest album Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes continues Mike Ness‘ love of storytelling. Their set list was an energetic mix of classic favorites and new music. I really enjoyed the rendition of “Reach for the Sky” with James Mattock (Sharks) and Chuck Ragan‘s voices along with Gaunt‘s fiddle. You can really tell that Social D is enjoying this tour and their opening acts.
Sharks music video – It All Relates
You can hear Chuck Ragan‘s latest album on his site: www.chuckraganmusic.com
Social Distortion‘s Machine Gun Blues video.
Words and pictures by James Seibert