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2023/4 Albums Thing 343 - Bruce Springsteen with The Sessions Band “Live in Dublin”

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Recorded at the Point in Dublin over November 17, 18 & 19, 2006 this a live album with the Seeger Sessions Band taking in 10 of the 13 songs from that album (omitted are my personal favourite “John Henry” (harumph), “Shenadoah” and thankfully “Froggie Went A Courtin’”) plus 13 other Springsteen songs and covers.

The original songs chosen are quite interesting, many not songs I would usually expect to hear at an E Street Band show. “Atlantic City”, “Further On (Up The Road)”, “If I Should Fall Behind”, “Highway Patrolman”, “Long Time Comin’”, “Open All Night”,  “Growin' Up”, “American Land” and “Blinded By The Light”. 

The remaining songs are old folk and traditional songs given a Sessions Band makeover. “How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live” was written and recorded by Blind Alfred Reed in 1929. This version, apparently, owes more to Ry Cooder’s 1970 take than it does to ol’ Blind Alfred. Everyone knows “When The Saints Go Marching In”, right ? It’s a song that grew out of various hymns and spirituals and is forever connected to New Orleans style Jazz but here is slowed right down to an acoustic ballad and sung by various members of the band. “This Little Light Of Mine” is a traditional Gospel song that has a strong connection to the Civil Rights Movement and is one I’ve seen performed live with the E Street Band in Kilkenny in 2013. 

Lastly I need to make mention “Love Of The Common People” (yes the very same song that once was 80’d up by Paul Young) written by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins (who also wrote “Son Of A Preacher Man”) and first recorded by the Four Preps. Sadly Bruce attempts the song in a laughable cod-reggae style and, much as I’ve never wanted to hear Bob Marley tackle Rock ’n Roll, I’ve never in my wildest imaginations wanted to hear the Boss play Reggae…and never wish to again !

“Live In Dublin” is an enthusiastic performance in front of an enthusiastic crowd. A great document of a tour I didn’t get to see.

Long Time Coming - https://youtu.be/_eehLPcXxBQ?si=j-kcZEchaOpSkWTO

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