This weekend, Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer Darlene Love hosts her annual Christmas Concert, upgrading from New Jersey’s Bergen Performing Arts Center to the larger New Jersey Performing Arts Center this year. Her special guests will be Cissy Houston and former Supremes singer Mary Wilson. Steven Van Zandt, originally on the bill, unfortunately had to pull off of the bill.
But Love told CBS Local that she plans to go into the studio with Van Zandt soon, to cut at least one new song: “Among The Believers,” from Van Zandt’s 1983 solo album Voice Of America. She performed that song at a recent tribute concert to Van Zandt that benefitted the organization Little Kids Rock.
“Steven picked that song for me to sing. When I heard it, I said, ‘Wow, Steven, when are we going to go into the studio and record this? This is such a great song!’ So I think we’re going to go into the studio. That song really fits me!”
The lineup for that concert — which featured all songs written by Van Zandt — also included Elvis Costello, Tom Morello, and American Idol winner Kris Allen. Apparently, like Ms. Love, all of the artists wanted to record studio versions of the songs that they played, and many of them requested Van Zandt’s services as a producer.
Little Steven told CBS Local that he would get in the studio with all of them: “Every single person who played said, ‘We gotta cut that! I wish I was 12 different people so I could produce them all. I kind of force recording sessions in, when I can, into my schedule.” Regarding Love’s request, he says, “Well that certainly would be my first one. If I did anything, I would do that. I’ve owed her an album since 1980!”
Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen were part of a campaign to get Love inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (she was inducted in 2011), and Van Zandt wrote her song “All Alone At Christmas” for 1992’s Home Alone 2. (One studio session that Van Zandt has squeezed into his schedule was producing a new version of that song for the Midtown Men, a vocal group featuring cast members from Broadway’s Jersey Boys).
Love’s Christmas show takes place Saturday, December 22nd. For more information, check out the venue’s website.
— Brian Ives, CBS Local