Favorite

Rhythm & Views 

Bruce Springsteen

Many of Bruce Springsteen's songs have become woven into the fabric of our culture, at least for music buffs in the rock era, and it's right that they should be. Those modern-day music fans also are likely to be pleasantly surprised by the number of songs they'll recognize in this collection of Springsteen's raucous, celebratory covers of some of the tunes made famous by legendary folkie Pete Seeger.

Springsteen gathered a group of 17 journeyman musicians--the only other member of his famous E Street Band in attendance being wife and singer Patti Scialfa--to bring alive classic folk tunes such as "Old Dan Tucker," "My Oklahoma Home," "Shenandoah," "Erie Canal," and "Froggie Went a Courtin'."

Seeger didn't actually write any of these songs, but he collected them and brought them to the attention of the American public. Meticulous liner notes help to trace the history and provenance of each tune and the respective versions presented here.

Songs that might otherwise seem like moldy clichés benefit from vibrant performances on this album--from the heroic narratives of "Jesse James" and "John Henry" to "Eyes on the Prize" and "We Shall Overcome," songs that have been adopted by activist movements in the 20th century.

Springsteen arranges the songs as if they were barely controlled parties. He juggles a brass band, fiddles, accordion, upright bass, banjo, organ and enthusiastic group vocals, imparting Celtic flavor to "Mrs. McGrath" and gospel salvation to "O Mary Don't You Weep." The album--which is accompanied by a DVD featuring live video performances--is an unqualified joy.

More by Gene Armstrong

  • Primer

    Tony Furtado
    • May 29, 2014
  • Wills Meets Reinhardt

    L.A.'s Cow Bop blends bebop and Western swing into a superbly danceable combo
    • May 22, 2014
  • Finding (the Eighth) Mr. Right

    Superb performances drive the '60s satire of Live Theatre Workshop's Loot
    • May 15, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

HOCO Fest 2017 Countdown: Mexican Institute of Sound

HOCO Fest 2017 Countdown: Willis Earl Beal (AKA Nobody)

HOCO Fest 2017 Countdown: DJ Orange Julius

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Out on Top

    Big Meridox reflects on 20 years in Tucson hip-hop as he preps final shows
    • Aug 17, 2017
  • Know Your Product

    Stars Pick Their Top Five! This Week: Dead Cross
    • Aug 17, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation