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Sunday, 4 November 2012

The Nebraska Sessions - a tribute

Thirty years ago Bruce Springsteen took a fork in the road that led him to release the the darkly sparse Nebraska.
An album that to this day still manages to split the opinions of fans young and old.
For some it was their introduction to the man and his music.
For others it's the album that cemented their love of 'the boss', and then there were, are, and always will be, those who struggle with how their hero had dispensed with the blue collar bombast of the Born to Run era and embraced a more simplistic and direct style of story telling.
Yet regardless of the myriad of opinion that the album lends itself to, it is without a shadow of a doubt an album that has inspired.
So much so that earlier this year Clubhouse records arranged for the artists that are on their roster to play a one off live show paying tribute to all the songs recorded by Bruce on his little four track.
As part of this live treat the acts all recorded and filmed their chosen songs and a short run of CDs were created to be distributed at the actual live show.
When I initially became aware of the event, and had immersed myself in the youtube footage of the artists performances of the material, my elation at hearing such wonderfully personal interpretations of the songs was tempered with a degree of disappointment as I wouldn't be able to attend the gig, and therefore it was unlikely that I would be able to grab myself a CD.
Thankfully my disappointment was rather short lived when the label announced that there was a very limited over run of the CDs and those that were left could be purchased from them.
Obviously minutes after being made aware of this my finger was hovering over the paypal link and days later I was sliding the CD from its very nicely packaged envelope and letting myself drift off to the strains of a collection of superb musicians paying homage to an iconic star.
It would be unfair of me to try and focus on high points or low points as the songs are all equally superb, and after repeated spins I have yet to hear one singular moment that detracts from the whole.
Springsteen fans will of course be the harshest critics of the material, but I sincerely doubt that even his most staunchest and hyper critical fan will find anything on this to complain about.
As an addition to their record collection filed under miscellaneous material this is a gold star release.

Acts represented - Trevor Moss and Hannah Lou, The Dreaming Spires, Danny George Wilson, The Cedars, Case Hardin, The Redlands Palomino Company (whose album I bought on the strength of their Mansion on the hill cover), The Hi and Lo, Mad Staring Eyes, The Arlenes and Michele Stodart.  

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