A note from the producer
I know, I know, “Eyes on the Prize”, included here, is not a Bruce Springsteen song.
It’s a traditional.
But how can you put together, in 2010, a Bruce Springsteen tribute album without thinking
for only 5 minutes about the kind of crossroad that the Seeger Session (both the album
and the 2006/2007 tour) has been?
While writing from Belfast a short review of the Session Band’s last show (to date), I
ended up sending this note to Backstreets Magazine: “The magic of this tour was to
experience a trip that took you in every musical direction, like being on the same bus
with Asleep At The Wheel, Hank Williams, Cab Calloway, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Little
Feat and the Chieftains. How was this possible? As long as you have Springsteen behind
the wheel, anything is possible.” It really is.
In 1994, when I started to cut tracks to include in the For You cd, which actually
happened to be the first purposely recorded Bruce Springsteen tribute album ever (only a
couple of collections of already existing cover songs had surfaced in the Eighties),
Springsteen, in my eyes, was still more of a Chuck Berry than a Johnny Cash. The Ghost of
Tom Joad was about to change the perception that critics and the masses had of this
brilliant rock poet, who is now, needless to say, the most complete and eclectic
songwriter of his generation.
While that single tribute album, which I had the honor to hand deliver a copy to the Boss
himself, was intentionally a mixed bag (Italian pop, soul, alternative and rock musicians
all together dealing with a versatile catalogue), the new For You cd – this time a double
set – while still widely picking songs (a couple of unreleased 1970 Steel Mill gems are
here, as well as 2009’s “Tomorrow Never Knows”) dives more into that Americana sound we
experienced with albums like The Ghost of Tom Joad, Devils & Dust and We Shall Overcome:
the Seeger Sessions. It certainly rocks with “Adam Raised a Cain”, the ghost of Elvis
lingers behind every note of “Johnny Bye Bye”, but deals quite often with characters and
instruments you could set in the Southwest rather than the East Coast.
This also explains why the artwork here “smells” more like the lost highways rather than
the New York City backstreets (but hey, there’s a lot of New Jersey too). Just like in
the lyrics to “American Land”, here you’ll find a community of (many) Italians in the
company of Irish-Americans (fellow Texans JT Van Zandt and Elizabeth Lee sing for us,
Chris Cacavas of Green On Red and Dream Syndicate fame plays Hammond, a girl of Irish-
Italian blood happily sings about “hope and dreams”). They all share their love for Bruce
Springsteen and the many sides of that sound you may call blues, rock’n’roll, country or
Americana made in Italy? Why not.
All I can say is that these 25 songs is our sincere way to show, from this side of the
Atlantic, our gratitude and loyalty to Bruce Springsteen for being and remaining a
constant inspiration. In music and in life.
God bless you Bruce
Route 61 Music, Italy 2010 www.route61music.com www.foryouspringsteen.com
1.It’s hard to be a saint in the city – RICCARDO MAFFONI
2.Johnny bye bye – BRANDO
3.Iceman – MASSIMILIANO LAROCCA
4.The ghost of Tom Joad – MODENA CITY RAMBLERS
5.Eyes on the prize – TENCA/SEVERINI/BASILE
6.Be true – LORENZO BERTOCCHINI & ELIZABETH REED
7.State trooper (instrumental) – PJ FARAGLIA
8.Racing in the street – ANDREA PARODI & JT VAN ZANDT
9.Adam raised a Cain – RUSTIES
10.Matamoros banks – LUIGI MARIANO
11.Radio nowhere – DANIELE GROFF
12.Land of hope and dreams – MARDI GRAS
1.Cadillac ranch (instrumental) – PJ FARAGLIA
2.Sherry Darling – LORENZO BERTOCCHINI
3.The train song – SRL FREEWAYS
4.Guilty (The judge song) – DUST’N’BONES
5.Factory – DANIELE TENCA
6.Jesus was an only son – JOE SLOMP
7.Soul driver – LOWLANDS
8.Better days – WILD JUNKERS
9.Nothing man – SERGIO MARAZZI & OIL
10.Youngstown – CHEAP WINE
11.Growin’ up – ANTONIO ZIRILLI
12.Shut out the light – MIAMI & THE GROOVERS
13.Tomorrow never knows – FRANCESCO LUCARELLI