Glen Hansard Covers Springsteen's 'Drive All Night' – Song Premiere

Eddie Vedder also lends vocals to track on Hansard's new EP

Glen Hansard and Eddie Vedder
Zoran Orlic
November 5, 2013 9:30 AM ET

With his raw, emotive voice and strong narrative storytelling, Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard has always earned Bruce Springsteen comparisons. And on his new EP, Drive All Night, Hansard pays tribute to the rock legend by covering one of the Springsteen's classic tunes, "Drive All Night," from the 1980s double-LP The River.

The Drive All Night EP also features three original tunes, but the centerpiece is clearly "Drive All Night," which (like the original Springsteen version) stretches out to nearly nine minutes. "I'd drive all night again just to buy you some shoes and taste your tender charm," Hansard sings, backed by sax, acoustic guitar and saxophone. The track also features vocal harmonies from Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Joe Henry and Jake Clemons (nephew of late E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons).

Glen Hansard on the Tonys' 'Once Love,' His Solo LP and Learning From Springsteen

Hansard has personal history with Springsteen. After winning Best Original Song at the 2008 Oscars with "Falling Slowly," Hansard spoke with Springsteen, who shared some poignant wisom about appreciating success.

"I remember sitting next to Bruce Springsteen, and he put things in perspective for me so, so well," Hansard told Rolling Stone last year. "He said, 'When you have success, you need to mark it, even if it's opening a beer or a bottle of champagne or going to dinner with your family or taking a holiday. If you don't mark your success, then the day your ship comes in might just be another day at the office.' And I remember thinking, 'Jesus, that's so true!'"

Drive All Night – which follows Hansard's debut solo album, 2012's Rhythm and Repose – will be released in physical format by Anti- Records on November 25th, with a digital release to follow on December 3rd. All proceeds from the digital version of "Drive All Night" will benefit the non-profit charity Little Kids Rock, which provides music education in public schools that have faced cuts in music programs.

The EP is currently available for pre-order on Amazon.

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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