Trying To Get To You

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Bruce and The Seeger Sessions Band Meet Chabad House...and Sparks Fly!

Other than Bob Dylan, I've never heard an artist rework his material the way Bruce Springsteen does. And unlike Dylan (who's maddeningly inconsistent), the results with Springsteen are almost uniformly great. Different keys, different tempos and different phrasing bring out new things in songs that you couldn't imagine hearing anything new from ("The Promised Land," "Born In The U.S.A.," "The Rising" are just three of many examples.).

The current Bruce Springsteen and The Seeger Sessions Band tour will be the first Springsteen tour I've missed since the early 80's, unless he does some closing shows at home. (I was in Italy when he hit the East Coast in June.) Reports from Springsteen diehards whose taste I usually align with has been extremely positive, and I've enjoyed the live shows I've gotten. (I thought the album was very strong, albeit slightly uneven. "O Mary Don't You Weep" and "Eyes On The Prize" are out and out classics, but I could have done without "My Oklahoma Home.") And his cover/reworking of Blind Alfred Reed's (discovered through Ry Cooder) "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?" (on the 2nd edition of the album) is one of my contenders for song of the year.

Bruce started opening his shows in Europe last week with "Blinded By The Light." This morning I got a copy from last night's show at Wembley Arena in London and it is NOT what I was expecting. I thought it'd be similar at least in key to the original, but this is completely reworked and fantastic. It could use a little more work in the phrasing, but it puts an immediate smile on the face. It almost sounds like if Bruce and his band had been signed up to play a Hasidic wedding on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. I'd LOVE to see this live.

Download: "Blinded By The Light" 11/11/06, London

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