E Street Keyboardist Danny Federici Returns, Springsteen Books Acoustic Show

March 21, 2008 10:35 AM ET

Last night E Street Band keyboardist Danny Federici — sidelined from the tour since last November as he recovers from melanoma — made a surprise appearance midway through the Bruce Springsteen show at the Canseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The founding E Streeter played on "The Promised Land," "4th of July, Asbury Park" and "Spirit In The Night" during the main set and later returned to the stage for the five-song encore. Steve Van Zandt told Rolling Stone last week that Federici was doing great and his recovery had been "a bit miraculous." In other Springsteen news, he's playing a rare solo acoustic show at the Count Basie Theater in Red Bank New Jersey on May 7th. Tickets are available through an online auction with a minimum bid of $1,000. That may be a bit steep, but all proceeds benefit the theater, which hasn't been upgraded in over eighty years. Bids as high as $4,000 have already come in from as far as Italy and Scotland. The auction ends on April 2nd.

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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."

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