Stevie Van Zandt, aka Little Steven, is headed back to the UK and Ireland with his 14-person band The Disciples Of Soul.
The singer, guitarist, actor, radio host, activist, and founding member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band returns less than 12 months after his last run of European shows.
“I can’t get back to Europe often enough. I love it all,” says Van Zandt, whose Soulfire TeachRock Tour 2018 kicks off in Dublin on 28th June and culminates at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire almost exactly a month later.
The trek, which also includes performances in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and Norway will benefit the TeachRock programme of Van Zandt’s The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation.
The foundation uses the history of popular music to create free education materials and lesson plans for science, language, history, social studies, music, and arts classrooms.
“Music will forever be humanity’s most effective and consistent source of inspiration and motivation, and we have learned, music turns out to be our most solid common ground for establishing communication between teachers and students which is where education begins,” explains Van Zandt.
The foundation will be hosting free TeachRock Professional Development Workshops at each stop on this upcoming tour, and educators who attend will get a complimentary ticket to that evening’s show.
Ahead of the tour, Van Zandt is releasing the live album, Soulfire LIVE!, available digitally on 27th April, which continues a streak of new recordings.
Van Zandt, who pioneered the classic Jersey Shore sound fusing soul horns and rock guitars on Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes’ first three albums, brought the Disciples of Soul to the UK for the first time in 25 years at BluesFest 2016.
Fired up by the performance he recorded Soulfire, his first solo album in almost two decades, shortly afterwards.
“This was the most fun I’ve ever had making a record,” Van Zandt said when the LP was released last year. “We did it quickly, while we still had the fire and energy from the London show. We just took it into the studio and banged it out, six weeks from start to mix. It’s one of those strange things, it really seems like it was meant to be.”
The album saw him revisiting songs from throughout his career as a musician, songwriter, and producer.
“I’ve always been very thematic with my work, very conceptual,” he said at the time. “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.”
The UK tour that followed the release of Soulfire included a secret The Beatles-inspired set at Liverpool’s Cavern Club and a performance at London’s Roundhouse that featured an appearance from Paul McCartney.
Tickets for the Soulfire TeachRock Tour 2018, including VIP Soundcheck Meet and Greet packages, are available at littlesteven.com.
Soulfire TeachRock Tour 2018 UK and Ireland dates
28th June: Button Factory, Dublin
30th June: O2 Academy, Liverpool
2nd July: Mouth Of The Tyne Festival, Whitley Bay
27th July: Shepherds Bush Empire, London