Archive | June 19, 2013

“The Promised Land”–Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

The Promised Land Bruce Springsteen
and The E Street Band Live Hyde Park 2009

This is pure Bruce.  The Boss and the band always go 1000 miles an hour on each song for every hour and each second of each and every marathon long performance. With blue collar workmanship, Bruce goes about it each day. He wakes up, drinks coffee and eats his toast, out before the sun comes he trucks into the city; head down he methodically builds that gleaming high rise into the heavens.

I’ve done my best to live the right way
I get up every morning and go to work each day
But your eyes go blind and your blood runs cold
Sometimes I feel so weak I just want to explode
Explode and tear this town apart
Take a knife and cut this pain from my heart
Find somebody itching for something to start

Thinking about these lyrics, I can not help but see myself and my friends and family in this portrait, yet like Springsteen goes on to say, we just man and woman up and keep on pushing through.  The chorus intones,

The dogs on main street howl,
’cause they understand,
If I could reach one moment into my hands
Mister, I ain’t a boy, no, I’m a man,
And I believe in a promised land.

I keep asking myself if the song is ironic and cynical or hopeful. What do you think?

From Back in the Day, 1978

Another Performance Allphones Arena, Sydney
20th March 2013

ONE presents Bruce Springsteen -Solo, Acoustic and Very Folksy

“Blind Willy McTell”–Bob Dylan

Released in 1991 on the The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991

Dylan Plays “Blind Willie McTell” Live

Dylan’s folk ballad, “Blind Willie McTell” reminds me of the southern fiction of Faulkner or O’Conner. The story telling is at once dark, vivid, beautiful, and enigmatic. The extraordinary power of the language is still second to the plaintiff blues of the melody. This uniquely American song is written by a great American literary giant at the height of his story telling powers. At once lyric and narrative Dylan opens with:

Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To Jerusalem.”
I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell.

To follow an ominous beginning, Dylan drives it home like a shank in the gut:

English: Bob Dylan performing in Rotterdam, Ju...

English: Bob Dylan performing in Rotterdam, June 23 1978 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, God is in heaven
And we all want what’s his
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is
I’m gazing out the window
Of the St. James Hotel
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Dylan-Blind Willie McTell-Oberhausen 2011 

Amazing Covers

Allman Brothers  w/Bruce Katz & Danny Louis

Wanee Music Festival in Live Oak Florida 4/20/12

Oddly Unique Version (Audio Only) DREAM SYNDICATE

From the Album May Your Song Always be Sung – The Songs of Bob Dylan