Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Boss of Americana

Bruce Springsteen
Ghost of Tom Joad 
1995. Columbia  
Produced by Chuck Plotkin

Bruce Springsteen - guitar, keyboards, vocals, harmonica
Danny Federici - accordian, keyboards
Gary Mallaber - drums
Garry Tallent - bass
Jim Hanson - bass
Marty Rifkin - pedal steel guitar
Soozie Tyrell - violin, vocals
Lisa Lowell - vocals
Patti Scialfa - vocals

  • The Ghost of Tom Joad
This is the second album in the acoustic folk trilogy from Bruce Springsteen, following his 1982 Nebraska and preceding his 2002 Devils and Dust.  This is my favorite album from the Boss.  It may be because I stumbled into it in 1997 after hearing Rage Against the Machine cover it in their Metal/HipHop style, and it might be because I have a thing for acoustic country/folk songs.  The overall sound could be summed up as full of despair.  However, I believe this is an over simplified and unjust judgement.  True, the subject matter of the songs is modern dustbowl Americana, but I think under all the dust and grime and sense of despair, there is a message of hope, and beauty in the plain and mundane.  And I like that the most.  

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