Both Bruce Springsteen and Steve Earle have released new music. "Magic," [Columbia Records ] the new Springsteen and his E-Street band is heralded to be an old time rock and roll buster; and, it is. Bruce's CD is a combination of love, rough living, and most importantly, a strong anti-war message.
The whole E-Street band is present with Clarence Clemmons, Nils Lofgren, Danny Frederic, Roy Bittan, Max Weinberg; and, of course, Pattie Scailfa. Scailfa's own singing career is taking off, but she returns to join her husband and the full crew.
In Bruce's interviews, he announced that the full crew would be together for a world tour for this CD which will last almost a full year.
"Last to Die" caught the attention of CNN interviewers who asked Springsteen if he worried about being type cast as an anti-war singer. He answered with the message of the song – stop the war now. "Who'll be the last to die for a mistake"....The last to die for a mistake; Darlin' will tyrants and kings fall to the same fate." Strung up at your city gate"... who'll be the last to die for a mistake.
There is no mistaking Springsteen's rage at the Iraq war and those who started it.
The CD folder contains excellent photos.
An interesting bridge between the Springsteen CD and the Steve Earle one is that Bruce has a song to the wasteland of radio called "Radio Nowhere." Steve Earle's song is, "Satellite Radio" telling his listeners that he left public radio for satellite radio.
Steve Earle's music on, "Washington Square Seranade" [New West CD] is an ode to NYC and its residents. His song, "Tennessee Blues" is his farewell to music city, Nashville, Tennessee and hello NYC.
His ode to NYC is marked by his song, "City of Immigrants" in which he extols the greatness NYC through its residents who are all immigrants. In a CBS TV Morning America segment, Earle song this song and made it clear where he stood on that issue. On the inside cover of his beautiful CD folder presentation he ends his personal message to listeners with the "PS Fuck Lou Dobbs." Dobbs is the immigrant, racist basher on CNN every night.
"Down Here Below" pays homage to the famous hawk, Pale Male, of 5th Avenue and the different neighborhoods of NYC. It is a very creative song to a new New Yorker. In putting words in the hawk�s mouth he seems to be speaking for himself, "god, I love this town."
As Patti Scailfa joins her husband, Springsteen, this Earle CD bring together two new love birds, Steve Earle and Allison Moorer. Earle doesn't hide the fact of his years of addiction and that he is now in his 13th year of recovery. His marriage to Moorer is his 6th. He also doesn't hide that fact. Moorer is an accomplished singer with an Academy Award to her credits. Her two songs on the great CD "No Depression" are good introductions to her singing and creativity.
Steve Earle sings almost half of his songs to extol his love and marriage to Moorer. But, less Earle fans worry about his getting "soft" ... your worries are not real.
His "City of Immigrants" will become a classic. His "Oxycotin Blues" is an ode to coal miners struggle for survival. This connects with his previous songs written to honor coal miners on previous CDs.
A couple of songs are directly related to his continuing struggle against his drug experience, the most significant one being his cover of the powerful Tom Waits song, "Way Down in the Hole."
Finally, Steve pays tribute, much as Springsteen did on his previous CD, to Pete Seeger. Steve's song, "Steve's Hammer [For Pete]"... "One of these days I'm gonna lay this hammer down." But, the "I" is meant for Peter. It is a very personal, political and moving tribute.
The centerfold of the Earle CD introduces fans to his full band.
Do Springsteen and Earle compare notes before their CDs? Probably not, but these two musical events warrant everyone's attention.