Advertisement

Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Springsteen’s Seeger and More

I’m a Bruce Springsteen fan who’s had some fine spiritual reflections—and many moments of enjoyment—courtesy of Bruce’s music and writing. Usually it happens when the E-Street band is behind him, so I wasn’t necessarily excited about his new CD, “We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions,” a solo covering of old folk tunes with some friends and musicians gathered in a living room as background.

But this CD surprises me in its aesthetics as well as its content. This is music from a time when songs were about the music rather than the music business. Over the next week or so, you’ll see Bruce doing several TV appearances to promote the homespun flavor of the Pete Seeger folk-song-inspired project, but it’s not just branding or hype. The disc cover reminds me of the faded varnish of a country barn, but the songs are a famous rocker’s fresh tinkering and fresh spin on everything from campfire tale to gospel standard, from mythic yarn to minstrel song.

Advertisement

My favorite is the deep sound and anti-war lyrics of “Mrs. McGrath,” which includes a gentle nudge for Pres. Bush about our current war. (Though in reported comments the past few days, Springsteen has gone far beyond a gentle nudge, sharply criticizing the president for the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina.) I also liked “Pay Me My Money Down,” which is about the haves and have-nots, but updated to include Mr. Gates, the current “captain.” Least impressive is the title track, a cover of “We Shall Overcome,” which, unlike the rest, is more pretty than gritty.

This is music written during a time when everyone was invited to sing, play, dance, and hum along. When I was a kid, even the guy with the juice-harp could be a star. It was about the meaning and the message more than the look or whether it would sell. In that way, this is honest music that should inspire good listening and meaningful reflection, and which also can spur more of us on to make songs of our own.

Advertisement

The intent of “The Seeger Sessions” is reminiscent of the “Nebraska” album, or Springsteen’s tribute to Harry Chapin, when he sang “Remember When The Music.” Bruce says he made this record in just three days. I think that even he still longs for the day when it’s just a bunch of friends with a pick or a washboard making music that sends a message while creating some enjoyment—and perhaps a moment’s respite—in the process.

  • enno

    which springsteen album isa tribute to harry chapin?>

Previous Posts

Batman and Superman Meet on the Big Screen
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a long awaited movie by Warner Bros. Pictures, featuring the DC Comics characters Batman, Supreman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman. The film was first announced back in 2013 at the San Diego Comic-Con ...

posted 2:50:04pm Feb. 11, 2016 | read full post »

The World Will Miss another Music Legend
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ter0p_iyIxk   The music world lost another legend in 2016. Maurice White, the co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, died in his sleep on Feb 4th at his home in Los Angeles from Parkinson's disease. ...

posted 9:51:01am Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

Iconic Super Bowl Commercials
The Super Bowl is watched throughout American for the halftime show, the football game and most importantly, the commercials. In 2015 a record 114.5 million people tuned in, or roughly a third of the US population, making it an advertisers ...

posted 8:21:34am Feb. 08, 2016 | read full post »

NFL Commissioner: 'Progress is being made' for Women
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81_fhnB-qpw There is more good news for females looking to make a career in the NFL. Commissioner Roger Goodell announced at the organization’s Women's Summit a “Rooney Rule” for women, to encourage ...

posted 10:04:43am Feb. 05, 2016 | read full post »

Joe Alaskey, Voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck & Tweety Dies
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmasSF-pz6o[/youtube]Joe Alaskey, best known for voicing iconic Looney Tunes characters Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety, Sylvester and Marvin the Martian died Wednesday after a battle with cancer. Alaskey ...

posted 8:53:35am Feb. 04, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.