Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


Springsteen’s Seeger and More

posted by doug howe

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.

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.

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

'Left Behind' is Fast Approaching
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrXe8YDbzYs[/youtube] Many are getting excited as “Left Behind” is fast approaching theaters on Oct. 1 based on the best-selling books by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Jordan Sparks, and Lea Thompson

posted 4:18:05pm Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Documentary ‘The Boomer List’ Highlights American Achievements
19 American luminaries of the baby boom years (1946-1964) share their personal stories and achievements in the inspiring documentary, The Boomer List. Part of the American Masters series on PBS, The Boomer List invites viewers into the lives of a generation that were present during poignant momen

posted 12:37:10pm Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Tim Tebow Signs On To Inspire With GMA
Doesn't look like Tim Tebow will be returning to the NFL anytime soon. ABC released a press releasing stating that starting Monday, September 15th Tebow will launch the program's "Motivate Me Monday" series. The program will highlight amazing people and their inspirational stories of triumph and ove

posted 8:33:58am Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »

What Does Oprah Know For Sure?
Oprah Winfrey has become more than just a successful talk-show host, she is a legendary figure that everyone admires. Her heartfelt words of wisdom are felt within every interview and her mission statements are clear no matter what charity she is involved in. The one question that baffled even Opr

posted 10:07:15am Sep. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Exclusive Trailer of The Good Lie
The Good Lie is a movie about the human spirit. Faith helps the Sudan refugees forge past the challenges that they are facing on their journey and provides them with the hope necessary to move forward. Reese Witherspoon plays Carrie Davis, an agent for an employment agency, who is assisting the Suda

posted 4:20:27pm Sep. 10, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.