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Bruce Springsteen Hits the Road

Rocker takes Seeger songs cross-country with his biggest band ever

April 17, 2006 5:06 PM ET

This summer Bruce Springsteen will hit U.S. amphitheaters and arenas with the brand new Seeger Sessions Band, the seventeen-member ensemble which also features his wife Patti Scialfa on vocals. The twenty-three national dates are in support of We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, Springsteen's first-ever album of covers of traditional folk songs, mostly inspired by folk legend Pete Seeger. The album has been a quiet work in progress since as early as 1998, and is finally set for release April 25th.

First, Springsteen will head back to New Jersey's Asbury Park -- the namesake of his 1973 debut, Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ -- for a four-night April residency, followed by a headlining slot at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on April 30th. After a sold-out May tour in Europe, Springsteen and the Seeger Sessions Band will return for eighteen stateside dates, beginning May 27th in Boston.

"The album has a light, swinging, incredibly joyful sound to it -- it rocks," Springsteen's manager, Jon Landau told Rolling Stone of We Shall Overcome. "It's folk and old-timey instrumentation mixed with a large horn section and a big vocal-chorus sound."

"It was a carnival ride, the sound of surprise and the pure joy of playing," Springsteen said in a statement about recording the album. "Street corner music, parlor music, tavern music, wilderness music, circus music, church music, gutter music, it was all there waiting in those old songs, some more than one hundred years old . . . It was a way back and forward to the informality, the freeness and the eclecticism of my earliest music and then some."

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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