The Sensational Soul Cruisers are not just another 11-man vocal harmony group with horns. While it is still sometimes possible to find a band which features a similar line up of instruments, it is unlikely that you will ever find another that performs with as much energy, passion, and talent as these guys. From their humble beginnings rehearsing at the chicken coops on Route 33 to the basement of the Cycle Shop on Throckmorton Street, this band has come a long way from its “Eddie and the Cruisers” days to become one of Jersey’s best kept secrets.
Under the tutelage of Jackson resident sax player Screamin’ Steve Barlotta, who has been the captain of this fantastic soul cruise for over 20 years, has catapulted this band from the recesses of a dingy basement to over 200 performances a year while capturing the true essence of the Jersey Shore sound and its true R&B roots. Fortunately for those of us that feel that the sound of classic Philly Soul, Motown, Disco, Stax, and the music of Earth, Wind & Fire, Chicago, and other such groups was and still is some of the best music ever recorded or played live, there will be plenty of chances to see the Sensational Soul Cruisers perform this year and for many years to come. While the band travels to and plays concerts in theaters, clubs, public festivals, and private events throughout the country, they will be spending quite a bit of time in the northeast but especially in the New York/ New Jersey / Pennsylvania area this year. This is in no small part due to the bands strong ties to its roots in Freehold Borough in the beautiful Garden State.
While the group has been known as the Soul Cruisers for the past 18 years, the rhythm section was known for many years prior to that, being the band behind Eddie Testa, as Eddie and the Cruisers. That band and its name inspired the somewhat popular (albeit entirely fictionally based) movie of the same name; which in turn led to some confusion as the guys struggled to maintain their group identity while standing in the shadow of a fictional movie band. With the break-up of Eddie and the Cruisers, the band hit the road playing back up to big name Rock and R&B stars in various concert venues integrating the styles of the music that became a part of them – Philly Funk, Memphis Soul, Motown, Beach Music, New York Quiet Storm, British Invasion, and New Jersey Rock ‘n Roll. With this incredible diversity fused into their performance repertoire, they became the foundation of something unique and very special The Sensational Soul Cruisers.
Screamin’ Steve Barlotta-Tenor Saxophone
Stan Tartas-Bass Guitar
Joe Nappy-Guitar & Vocals
Joey Stann-Baritone Saxophone