Much like Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band or Southside Johnny & the Asbury Dukes, Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers have been making American blue-collar bar rock that draws on classic R&B from the 1970s on. Unlike his New Jersey counterparts, however, Grushecky calls the Iron City of Pittsburgh home. He has also never received the accolades or attention of his New Jersey counterparts. The group, which first emerged as the Iron City Houserockers, released their debut, Love's So Tough, on MCA Records in 1979. A spate of albums followed in the 1980s. However, despite critical accolades from the likes of Rolling Stone and Billboard, among others, the band never achieved commercial success or became a household name. The group's major-label record deal collapsed after four albums that featured production by Steve Cropper and the team of Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson. In 1989, a retooled version of the group resurfaced as Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers with the album Rock & Real.