Springsteen Western Stars: Sumptuous, cinematic album

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Where most rock superstars sink into trad tedium by 69, Springsteen is still crafting sophisticated paeans of depth and illumination, a rock grandmaster worthy of the accolade.

Bruce Springsteen seems to have told almost every tale in the grand old storybook of American mythologies, except perhaps one: a wide-eyed Californian dreamer finds the Golden State turns sour and flees back east, to some romantic speck of a town, to pine and rehabilitate.

The third single from ‘Western Stars’ is the first to include a video that shows Springsteen performing the song

Tucson Train” is the story of a down-and-out man that leaves San Francisco “tired of the pills and the rain” after his relationship with a woman falls apart. “We fought hard over nothing,” Springsteen sings. “We fought till nothing remained/I’ve carried that nothing for a long time/Now I carry my operator’s license/And spend my days just running this train/And my baby is coming in on a Tucson train.” In the video, he is joined by his wife Patti Scialfa and a band that includes strings and horns.

Due out June 14th via Columbia, Western Stars harkens to the pop sounds that rang out from Southern California back in the late ’60s. Sun-stained pedal steel set the mood on lead single “Hello Sunshine”, and now The Boss is back with another lush sampling in “There Goes My Miracle”.

Springsteen’s appearance at the show was widely predicted by fans after he announced he’d be appearing at a Netflix event in Los Angeles that happened to take place the day after the Little Steven concert. He played with Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul at some of their earliest shows after reforming in 2017, but this is the first time they’ve done “Sun City” together. Van Zandt recently brought the song back into his repertoire after a journalist in New Zealand told him how popular it was in his country. (Rolling Stone)

Bruce Springsteen, by his own admission, showed up at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood Sunday night, May 5,  “begging complete strangers for their vote” at an event hosted by Netflix to promote his Springsteen on Broadway special before Emmy voters. (Billboard)

“I’ve spent about seven years not writing anything for the band. I couldn’t write anything for the band,” confessed Springsteen, whose new solo album, Western Stars, comes out June 14. “And then about a month or so ago, I wrote almost an album’s worth of material for the band and it came out of just… I mean I know where it came from, but at the same time, it just came out of almost nowhere. I had almost two weeks of those daily visitations and it was so nice.  It makes you so happy. You go, ‘Fine, I’m not fucked.’ There’ll be another tour.”

Bruce Springsteen’s Netflix special opens on a close up of his face.  “That was Jon Landau.  That was his shot,” Springsteen said. “ I don’t know if he was influenced by the great Elvis ’68 Comeback Special where the first thing you see is  Elvis going [imitating Presley, ‘If you’re looking for trouble”]and you see Elvis’s face. Much better looking than my face. It was a good kick off.”

 

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