You’d think at this point, Steven Van Zandt would be a man who needs no introduction.

After all, besides being Bruce Springsteen’s right-hand man, Van Zandt has started his own record label (Wicked Cool Records), hosted the syndicated Underground Garage radio show, appeared in HBO’s “The Sopranos” and starred in “Lilyhammer” on Netflix, and written and produced for numerous other artists — notably a well-received comeback album for singer Darlene Love in 2015.

In short, the guitarist, songwriter, producer, actor and philanthropist, 66, has been everywhere and done pretty much everything. But to hear Van Zandt tell it, he thought now might be a good time to focus on just one thing for a change: himself as a solo artist. Hence the release of “Soulfire,” his first album under his Little Steven moniker since 1999.

“I just said, you know, let me just use this as a reintroduction of myself, and even an introduction to myself in many ways,” says Van Zandt, who noted the impetus for the album came from an impromptu appearance at a friend’s blues festival in between Springsteen tours last year.

“You know, it just sort of sort of happened very spontaneously,” says Van Zandt, a Boston native who spent his earliest years growing up in Watertown. “I was very surprised as we started playing the songs for first time in 20, 25 years — it was like, wow, this stuff really holds up pretty well.

“And I said, maybe it’s time to revisit Little Steven the artist here a little bit.”

That’s exactly what he did on “Soulfire,” with its lyrics about love, commitment, persistence and salvation, paired with blaring horns and assured guitar riffs hearkening back to Van Zandt’s very first album, 1982’s “Men Without Women.”

“It’s about me as a songwriter and a singer, guitar player, arranger, producer,” says Van Zandt of “Soulfire.” “I was like, if I’m gonna make a record, who am I? Who should I be right now? So I just decided, let me go back to that (soul-meets-rock style), and this time I’m gonna stay with it.”

Putting aside politics

What may surprise some longtime Van Zandt fans is the lack of political material on the album, which consists mostly of songs Van Zandt has written for other artists over the years, along with some well-chosen covers. That marks a departure from all of Van Zandt’s records after “Men Without Women,” which had a decidedly political bent.

“I made my first nonpolitical album with no guilt whatsoever,” says Van Zandt, who explains he felt much more of a need to be a voice in the wilderness back in 1980s. “I felt there were a lot of issues that needed to be discussed, a lot of things that needed to have a light shining on them.”

But now, he says, political commentary is inescapable. “I don’t need to explain Donald Trump to anybody — he explains himself every single day,” Van Zandt says. “It was really quite a liberating experience to come out in this atmosphere that is so politicized and kind of take the opposite position.”

But fans who see Van Zandt and his Disciples of Soul in concert this fall will get at least some taste of his socially aware lyrics, through performances of songs from “Voice of America” and his other albums.

“A lot of the old [political] songs, the lyrics still hold up very well,” he says, adding with a rueful laugh, “very, very little has changed.”

Getting the band back together

Bringing his show on the road — which Van Zandt started doing earlier this year with dates in Europe — has proven no simple undertaking.

“In order to reproduce this album live, man, I’m bringing 15 pieces!” explains Van Zandt with obvious excitement. “It’s a big band. It’s a killer band live.”

And it includes some familiar faces from Van Zandt’s original Disciples of Soul, not to mention the earliest iterations of Southside Johnny’s Asbury Jukes, whose first three records Van Zandt produced.

“I got Eddie Manion who’s been with me since the very beginning, and Stan Harrison — they were actually back in the Jukes days,” he says. “So we put together a five-piece horn section, which is a configuration I’ve been using ever since I started the Jukes. The biggest difference was adding the three background singers — that’s kind of a new wrinkle.”

Manion, for one, is thrilled to be along for the ride. “When I first joined Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes in 1976 as a baritone sax player, we took great pride as a band in replicating the exact parts written, directed and arranged by Steve in playing his original music,” says Manion. “When it comes to horns, nobody knows what Steve wants and expects more than I do.

We work together well.”

And Van Zandt knows he needs a good band behind him if he’s going to get used to stepping back into center stage. “It’s a lot of work being a frontman,” Van Zant says. “You’re in that spotlight the whole time and that’s the biggest difference.

“Right now I’m looking at it like I’m just the band leader, and it’s really all about the music,” he says.

Song by song

Van Zandt knows that a big chunk of his live audience likely won’t be familiar with his past solo work. “At least half the crowd is coming out of curiosity,” he says. “We’ve got to win them over song by song, and that’s what we’re doing.

“It’s all kind of being presented to people live for the first time and it’s going over very well,” says Van Zandt. “You know it’s very satisfying to win people over who’ve never heard your stuff before.”

“They may not walk in being familiar with my stuff or necessarily a big fan, but they’re leaving with a whole different mindset.”

Van Zandt credits that to the show’s high energy level and the connection his music has to old-fashioned, high-octane rock ‘n’ roll and horn-driven soul. “It becomes this experience that is transporting people,” he says. “For two hours you get to be transported to some place that I think is spiritually nourishing.

“People are really responding to [it] right now,” he continues. “They need two hours to get away from all the confusion and frustration and re-energize, you know? I think people are leaving my show feeling a little bit of renewed energy, renewed focus — it’s just it’s a little bit of a [pause] in life.”

And as for Van Zandt, the man with so many successful careers no one would blame him for resting on his laurels as he inches his way toward his 70s? He’s right where he wants to be.

“It’s a whole new rebirth,” he says. “Right now I’m just like, I’m the bandleader and here’s my music. And I think that’s enough. It seems to be enough right now.”

— Peter Chianca is the editor of Blogness on the Edge of Town, Gatehouse Media’s Bruce Springsteen news blog.