Listen to ex-Catch 22 & One Cool Guy mems cover Bouncing Souls on the Asbury Park boardwalk
Here's another edition of the Jersey Interchange project, which (mostly) features NJ punk musicians covering other NJ punk musicians. This time, it's Jeff Davidson (who sang for Catch 22 in the late '90s/early '00s and is now in The Routine) taking on the classic Bouncing Souls song "Gone" with Nick Afflitto of Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution and One Cool Guy on trumpet and a group of backing vocalists who have been dubbed The Boardwalk Souls. Jeff & friends recorded the song live on the Asbury Park boardwalk, and they turned it into an acoustic campfire singalong -- even more stripped back than the great version of "Gone" on the Souls' new acoustic-ish album. It's a fun take on a timeless NJ punk song, and there's a cool story about how it all came together, as Jeff explains:
When Christian [Lesperance, who spearheaded Jersey Interchange and produced this recording] reached out with an opportunity to contribute to Jersey Interchange, I was extremely flattered. It’s such a cool thing that he’s doing and an honor to be included! The song “Gone” by the Bouncing Souls is a track that has simply meant a lot to me for a very long time. I really wanted to dig in, get creative, and personalize it but I also knew that it had to be handled with care and treated with respect. Working with Christian and Nick kept the whole process comfortable and fun.
The plan from the beginning was to strip the song down. But it took a few months before it hit this sort rock steady vibe. I sent a snippet to Christian and his excitement and vision for the production was infectious! The song just organically opened up from there. We called out for people to come and sing along. We set up at the beach. We hit record and let it fly. This whole experience just felt very very good.
The world has been so dark recently. Gone is a classic tune that mentions carrying a song through the darkness. I hope that we have emphasized this theme with our humble version and that it also leaves others feeling good!
I started working on the Jersey interchange project as a trumpet player for one of the tracks Christian was working on. When he mentioned he needed songs mixed, I volunteered because of my music production background. The whole "Gone" experience was another level to what is an already pretty incredible undertaking. It reminded me of all the reasons the punk rock scene was so great as a kid. There are always a plethora of people with different skills who are willing to go above and beyond to help create something unique and special. Pulling it all together in Asbury Park was the icing on the cake. Asbury is probably the most famous music city in New Jersey, and sort of a home base for so many great local artists. Jeff really nailed the essence of the Bouncing Souls song, "Gone", and helping to piece it all together was a really special experience. It's so great to see everyone come together to make things happen, and a reminder as to what we can accomplish when we all put our heads together.
And Christian adds:
Jeff sent me his first studio demo of “Gone”, and it had this really raw and honest Bradley Nowell quality to it. After a few different versions were passed back and forth, I suggested that the track might benefit from giving it a setting, and since it was a Bouncing Souls song, why not perform it live with a “choir” on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. NJ. So we put out word that we were looking for a bunch of fans to come sing along with us, and set everything up to record right outside of the old Casino Skatepark. Nick (Afflitto) has mixed a bunch of the songs for Jersey Interchange and did an awesome job helping us record everything live on location. Jeff tracked his part first, and luckily did so just in the nick of time, because we were ushered off of the Asbury Park boardwalk by the police. We still needed to record all of the choir members that showed up, so we were able to reset about 100 yards away, still on the boardwalk, but only steps across the border in neighboring Ocean Grove. “The Boardwalk Souls” did their thing, Nick added his shining trumpet, and we proudly wrapped up a great rendition of one of Jersey’s most important and still relevant punk bands.
Listen to the new song and check out some more pics from the oceanside recording session below.
Previous editions of this series include Mikey Erg covering Atom and His Package (with Paulson's Alex Burton), Chris Gethard covering Weston, Youth Ahead & Midtown members covering The Ergs, and more.