Saturday, April 08, 2006

Bruce Springsteen's The Seeger Sessions


Bruce Springsteen's upcoming The Seeger Sessions has a preview video of "John Henry".

The CD is titled We Shall Overcome and covers a range of folk icon Pete Seeger's songs. Not all Bruce fans are thrilled about an album of folk covers as we have noted before.

Over on Blogcritics, The World Wide Glen replies to a review post on artists challenging their audiences:
"Bruce Springsteen's greatest strength as an artist is as a songwriter. The E-Street Band is great and Bruce is a better guitarist than he is given credit for but the reason I care is because of the songs. He has written some of the best songs in rock music history. There are a lot of fine singers out there in need of quality material. They should do Seeger albums. Springsteen can supply his own material. Springsteen should provide his own material.

As for this Seeger Sessions Band ... it does not roll off the tongue quite as well as The E-Street Band. In the end, that is what most of Springsteen's fans were likely hoping for with this new album. They wanted Bruce and the E-Street Band to make a new record and tour it. Of course, most of them would then want him to play nothing from the new album instead choosing to do 57-minute versions of "Racing in the Street."

It is the challenge most veteran artists with loyal fan bases face. Artists get scourged if they stray too far from what made them popular and get hammered if they stay the same. It is a no-win proposition. I believe I am willing to give him more latitude than some of his fans but in the end I want what I want. Just like everyone else."

But it is interesting to see the revival of some folk heros like Woodie Guthrie by Billy Bragg and Jeff Tweedy. On Son Volt's 2005 "Okemah and the Melody of Riot" Jay Farrar channels Woody Guthrie to startling effect.

Will Bruce's cover spark a similar reappraisal of Pete Seeger?

More on Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young: The Difference in Greatness.


At 4/10/2006 11:43:00 AM, Blogger Brian said...

Generally I only listen to Springsteen's folk albums (Nebraska, Ghost of Tom Joad, Devils and Dust), but just this weekend I found 'Born in the USA' in the used rack, and I'm glad I picked it up-- every track on there is great, even if it was pop material in the 80's. So I'm glad that I was challenged, which an artist should do!

Regarding Seeger, I'm not familiar with him, but looks like I will be in the near future.

At 7/15/2008 04:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is the greatest. He is this kind of people with who you would like to find in the street.


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