Monday, August 22, 2011

Album Review: We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006) by Bruce Springsteen

We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (2006)
Bruce Springsteen

So the Boss is a fan of Pete Seeger. Who knew? Pete Seeger has recorded scores of memorable folk songs and it must have been quite a task for Bruce Springsteen to make selections for this tribute album. Right off the bat, the album hits you with a rollicking rendition of "Old Dan Tucker" and--surprise!--Springsteen is totally in his element. Not only that, the musicians are just great. Many of Seeger's recordings seem spare to me, with just a guitar or a banjo to accompany Seeger's great voice. This album is beautifully produced with an absolutely splendid band.

Ultimately, though, Pete Seeger seems quite absent from this disc. Seeger has a sonorous voice and he clearly articulates every phrase. Springsteen's voice isn't as versatile or as clear. Often he sounds hoarse or nasal. Sometimes he has a bit of a drawl or twang. Sometimes the singing just seems forced ("John Henry"). But that band Springsteen assembled always sounds amazing!

Bruce Springsteen-- Old Dan Tucker

Bruce Springsteen & The Seeger Sessions Band -
Live @ LSO St. Lukes
John Henry, Oh Mary Don't You Weep, How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?, Mrs. McGrath, My Oklahoma Home, Jacob's Ladder, We Shall Overcome, Pay Me My Money Down


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