Live in Dublin

Last year' s Seeger Sessions was cut in just three days with a twelve-piece band that hadn't played together before. This Dublin stop, taped at the tail end of a seven-month tour, finds Bruce and the band going at the same material with a raw gusto that connects American traditions: mountain string bands, whorehouse Dixieland jazz, juke-joint rockabilly, Western swing and E Street soul. Across two CDs drawn from three concerts, Springsteen rips up old folk songs and revises nine slices of his back catalog — "Blinded by the Light" is yoked to Gypsy violin (strange, not wondrous); "Highway Patrolman" is fleshed out as a country weeper (fantastic, maybe definitive). At home, the Sessions Band had trouble selling out Asbury Park. Overseas, they were greeted as heroes, and this is the proof of their heroism.

From The Archives Issue 1029: June 28, 2007