'Little' Steven Van Zant On How Soul Music Shaped His Rock 'N' Roll Outlook

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

July 8, 2021

"Little" Steven Van Zant has never been one for downtime.

In addition to hosting his long-running Underground Garage radio program and managing his record label, Steven is usually dividing his time between work on a music project and a film project.

His latest offering, however, wrapped nearly all of his lifelong loves into one package, Summer of Sorcery Live! At The Beacon Theatre, a concert film documenting one of the last concerts by Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul in 2019.

Speaking ahead of the film's Friday premiere at IFC Center in New York City with Q104.3 New York's Jim Kerr and Jonathan Clarke, Steven explained why the Disciples project is so dear to his heart.

"...[This album] was the final show of three years of me reconnecting with my lifetime of work," he said, referring to his solo album reissues in 2017, 2018 and 2019. "Some of the most productive years of my entire like. There was like six album packages in that time, remastered all my old records in the RockNRoll Rebel package."

He added that soul music was part of what amplified his interest in rock 'n' roll as a youth.

"Sam & Dave were the model that me and Southside used when we started Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes," Steven said. "We wanted be the, you know, white Sam & Dave with a rock guitar, with that rock-meets-soul thing, which I returned to these previous three years with the Disciples of Soul. I had carried that rock-meets-soul thing into my first solo album, Men Without Women, but the other four albums of the '80s went all different directions. ...But I returned to that these past three years with the big band, and I added the harmony element, which I never had."

Beyond the sold-out in-person screening in NYC, Summer of Sorcery Live! At The Beacon Theatre will be also be released worldwide on July 9.

Steve says he also has a book, titled Unrequited Infatuations, arriving early this fall.

Go here for more information.

Watch the full conversation via the player at the top of this page!

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