Bruce wraps it up with the greatest of Ease

Well, Sunday night wrapped up the Seeger Sessions U.S. tour with a rousing performance at Holmdel, NJ’s PNC Bank Arts Center (wrapping up a two night stand there). A highlight of the show was the closer, “The Man on the Flying Trapeze”, which was played only once prior at one of the Asbury Park rehearsal shows. So the tour ends, but worry not, folkmeisters, the tour is rumored to be resuming in the fall over across the pond.

Bruce Springsteen & the Seeger Sessions Band: The Man on the Flying Trapeze (mp3) – Live, June 25, 2006 at the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey

AN ICKMUSIC GIVEAWAY! To celebrate these last few weeks of Bruce and the band barnstorming across Europe and the U.S., I’d like to offer three Boss fans (or future Boss fans) the full final show on CD (actually, three CD’s). At the end of the day Thursday, I’ll pick 3 winners from the Comments section. Make sure you leave your email address when you leave a comment. As it says next to the Email Address field, it’s not published, so no worries.

The set list from Sunday night was: American Land/John Henry/O Mary Don’t You Weep/Old Dan Tucker/Atlantic City/Long Black Veil/Jesse James/Long Time Comin’/Erie Canal/My Oklahoma Home/If I Should Fall Behind/Mrs. McGrath/Devils & Dust/How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?/Jacob’s Ladder/We Shall Overcome/Open All Night/Pay Me My Money Down
Encore: My City of Ruins/Ramrod/You Can Look (But You Better Not Touch)/When the Saints Go Marching In/The Man on the Flying Trapeze
June 29 UPDATE – THE WINNERS!: Well, after reading all the great comments, I decided to choose 5 winners instead of the 3 I mentioned. Indeed, “I wish I was Mr. Gates”, so I could treat you all to the show, but I am most definitely not Mr. Gates. Good news for everybody though: all 26 folks who left comments will be getting a downloadable treat or two in their Inbox very soon.

So the winners are: Eric, Kay in the U.K., Joe (fellow music blogger), “No Luck” Chuck (now known as Lucky Chuck), and Steven. Congrats you five!

*** For those who are still interested in getting a hold of the show, it can be done.

Jerry Joseph’s Panama


Here’s one that’s quickly shaping up to be my favorite tune of the summer (right along side “Pay Me My Money Down”, which is undoubtedly my family song of the summer). Yeah I know, summer officially began on June 21st, but living in a place where it’s been over a hundred degrees for a month straight, summer kicks off a little early around here. When I walk outside in these sweet Arizona summer months, it often feels like Satan himself is holding a bus-sized blow dryer over my head, but hey, it’s still home, right? It’s not a complaint, just a fact. It’s worth living here for October through May.

The song comes to us courtesy of Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons. A previous post of mine featured “Climb to Safety”, a long, powerful jam with lyrics about the struggle of overcoming addiction. “Panama”, on the other hand, has a nice groove, a funky little guitar riff, and a definite summertime feel to it. I’ve got most of the lyrics pinned down (I can’t find them online, so I resorted to pen, paper, and a sensitive ear). Who can help me fill in the gaps?

At least you’re tryin’
everybody else down here keep buyin’
whatever’s at the going rate today
always gotta be about the chase.

Well my friend Spike
so sorry but it _________
put it on the table here today
So it’s gonna have to be okay.

In Panama, Panama
In Panama, Yeah
It’s gonna have to be okay
Baby gonna give it all away.

At least you’re thinkin’
everybody else here just keeps sinkin’
sinking in a wave of regret
and I don’t think the _______ is sinkin’ yet. [fin?]

In the dancing hall
Samy and Sandra Sandoval
a finger on the heartbeat of it all
_________ [spanish]

In Panama, Panama
In Panama, Yeah Yeah
Gonna have to be okay
Yeah they’re gonna love you more each day.

And then the question come up
are we wasting our time?
Is this the presence of God
or a presence of mind?

In Panama, Panama
In Panama, Yeah
Gonna have to be okay
gonna love you more each day.

Hangin’ over
Over and a hangin’ for a party [?]
Flying season’s getting started
You take it on a wing and get away.

And at least you’re flyin’
when everybody else down here just lyin’
What you gotta love about the crocodile
at least they gonna kill you with a smile.

In Panama, Panama
In Panama, Yeah
It’s gonna have to be okay
Yeah we’re gonna give it all away.

In Panama, Panama
In Panama, Yeah
gonna have to be okay
Yeah they’re gonna love you anyway.

Can you figure out who the character in the song might be? From the bridge lyrics (“and then the question come up…”), it sounds like it might be from the perspective of a missionary. Jerry Joseph spent time living in both Utah and Central America, so this makes sense. And these lyrics: “What you gotta love about the crocodile, at least they gonna kill you with a smile.” Do lyrics get any cooler than this?

Top to bottom, this is just a great song. I figure some people out there will enjoy it as much as I do.

Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons: Panama (mp3) – from ‘Into the Lovely’ [Buy on eMusic | Amazon]

  • A page about Into the Lovely on Jerry & the Jackmormon’s Official Site.

Bruce’s American Land

bruce at msg

Another tour debut the other night at Madison Square Garden. The working title we’re going with is “American Land”. It’s not really known yet whether this is a new Bruce tune, but according to Backstreets, “More likely a traditional song with some new Springsteen lyrics.”

“This is an immigrant song for New York City,” Springsteen said before tonight’s new opening number — no, not a song off Led Zeppelin III, but at the moment we can’t tell you exactly what it was, either. A new Springsteen song? More likely a traditional song with some new Springsteen lyrics. On the setlist as “American Land,” it had a recurring refrain of “home in the American land,” but it wasn’t “He Lies in the American Land,” despite that song’s association with Pete Seeger and the similarity in title. Watch this space for more as we know it…. In any case, it was certainly a world premiere, an Irish reel with a Clancy Brothers/Tommy Makem feel to it; lyrically, a vivid portrait of the immigrant experience in the vein of Ry Cooder’s “Across the Borderline.” At the end, Bruce had one more dedication for it: “for all you travelers out there.” – – from Backstreets

If anyone out there has any more information on this song, please do tell (in the comments section below).

Bruce Springsteen & the Seeger Sessions Band: American Land (mp3) – working title for now until more info surfaces – live from Madison Square Garden, NYC, 06/22/2006.

  • Here’s video of Bruce being interviewed on CNN yesterday morning. You tell ’em, Boss.
  • My friend Charlie unleashes a steamy workplace photo upon the world, of me and his M&M man. Just keep it filled Charlie, just keep it filled. And yes, I work in a sea of cubicles.
  • UPDATE: See Bruce and the Band perform “Bring ‘Em Home” and “Pay Me My Money Down“, from Thursday’s Conan O’Brien show, including Conan on guitar and Jimmy Fallon rockin’ the spoons!

UPDATE: Here are the lyrics , with a gap or two (when he starts reeling off names)…. any edits / updates are welcome!


What is this land of America?

So many travel there, I’m goin’ now while I’m still young
My darlin’ meet me there
Wish me luck my lovely Alison
free you when I can
And we’ll make our home in the American land

Over there the women wear silk and satin to their knees
And children near, the sweets I hear are growin’ on the trees
Gold comes rushing out the river straight into your hands
If you make your home in the American land

There’s diamonds in the sidewalks
There’s gutters lined in song
Dear I hear the beer flows from the faucets all night long
There’s treasure for the takin’ for any hard working man
Who’ll make his home in the American land

I docked at Ellis Island in a city of light and spire
I wandered to the valley of red hot steel and fire
We made the steel that built the cities
With the sweat of our two hands
I made my home in the American land

There’s diamonds in the sidewalks
There’s gutters lined in song
Dear I hear the beer flows from the faucets all night long
There’s treasure for the takin’ for any hard working man
Who’ll make his home in the American land

The [..], the Smiths are [..]too
The Blacks, the Irish, the Italians, the Germans and the Jews
The [..], the [..], the Asians, the Arabs miles from home

Come across the water with the fire down below
They died building the railroads
Worked their bones and skin
They died in the fields and factories
And they’ve scattered in the wind
They died to get here a hundred years ago,
They’re dying now
The hands that built the country we’re always trying to keep down

There’s diamonds in the sidewalks
There’s gutters lined in song
Dear I hear the beer flows from the faucets all night long
There’s treasure for the takin’ for any hard working man
Who’ll make his home in the American land
Who’ll make his home in the American land
Who’ll make his home in the American land

It’s Been a Long Time Comin’

Bruce and the band have been pulling out some good ones on the final few shows of the tour. Here’s the Seeger Sessions take on one of my favorites from ‘Devils & Dust’, a great tune called “Long Time Comin”. This one stays pretty true to its original version, more so than any of Bruce’s other material that have been given the Seeger Sessions makeover. It’s a nice country rock feel to it with the slide guitar and the full band.

More to come!

Bruce Springsteen & the Seeger Sessions Band
: Long Time Comin’ (mp3) – live in Detroit, Michigan, June 16, 2006

Tom Petty at Bonnaroo

Let’s talk about the Grade ‘A’ Live American Rock & Roll experience. If you’ve seen Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers live, you know what I mean. Tom is the quintessential frontman: energetic, upbeat, and engaging. He immediately endears himself to any audience you put in front of him. I’ve seen them a number of times over the years: Milwaukee, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix; and my favorite one: front and center at The Joint inside Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in 2000 (the day after he got married).

This past weekend, TP and the Heartbreakers headlined the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee. I was happy to hear this, because it exposes the Heartbreakers to a whole new demographic. There are tons of younger people out there who now understand the genius of Petty. A big part of the greatness of his live show is his "give the people what they want" philosophy. He has an extensive catalog of hits to choose from, and he definitely delivers them, blow after blow. Artists I admire like Springsteen and Prince, both amazing live performers, are much more selective in unearthing their past ‘hits’ to live audiences. They’re interested in their latest material, and focus on the here and now, many times overlooking crowd favorites of the past. Not to mention that Bruce completely reconfigures his live show; his last two tours have been solo acoustic (behind ‘Devils & Dust’) and the folk hootenanny juggernaut that is his current tour with the Seeger Sessions Band.

Maybe I’m comparing apples to oranges, but Tom Petty delivers his hits, and the audience responds every time. His music is comfort food. It’s familiar, uplifting, and brings back good memories.

On July 25th, Petty will release ‘Highway Companion‘, another Jeff Lynne production. Lynne (formerly of Electric Light Orchestra and the Travelling Wilburys) also produced ‘Full Moon Fever’ and ‘Into the Great Wide Open’. I, for one, like the vibe Jeff Lynne puts forth. ‘Full Moon Fever’ and the two Travelling Wilburys albums are some of my favorites. So I’m looking forward to this release. The first single, “Saving Grace”, is streaming on his web site as we speak (he also played it at Bonnaroo).

Back to Bonnaroo. One of these years I’m going to make it out there. This seems like the festival for me (along with New Orleans Jazz Fest). So for those who weren’t lucky enough to be hanging out in the Tennessee countryside watching Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, we’ll just have to settle with this… oh, and did I mention that Stevie Nicks joined in on a few tunes? Yep, including a great version of “Insider”, from my favorite Petty album, ‘Hard Promises‘.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Bonnaroo Music Festival
June 16, 2006

Want this show mailed to you in CD? Click here.

  1. Listen to Her Heart
  2. You Don’t Know How it Feels
  3. I Won’t Back Down
  4. Free Fallin’
  5. Saving Grace – New song
  6. Last Dance with Mary Jane
  7. I’m a Man – Bo Diddley cover
  8. Oh Well – Fleetwood Mac cover
  9. Handle with Care – Travelling Wilburys
  10. Stop Dragging My Heart Around *
  11. I Need to Know *
  12. Melinda – New song
  13. Insider *
  14. Learning to Fly
  15. Don’t Come Around Here No More *
  16. Refugee
  17. Running Down a Dream
  18. You Wreck Me (cuts off before the end, sorry)
  19. Mystic Eyes – Van Morrison cover
  20. Gloria * – Van Morrison cover
  21. American Girl *

* Joined by Stevie Nicks.

Allison Moorer meets Mr. Earle

allison moorer and steve earle

I have two words for Steve Earle: You dog!! He must have the charms of Casanova, because he continues to seduce the ladies into taking his hand in marriage. His latest – sixth, seventh, eighth? – bride is none other than the lovely and very talented Allison Moorer. I’m not privy to the story behind their courtship, but they spent Steve’s last tour together with Allison in the opening slot. Steve also produced Allison’s latest release, ‘Getting Somewhere’, which was released last Tuesday (June 13) on Sugar Hill Records.


From the the three tracks I’ve heard, it certainly has that Earle / Twangtrust vibe to it, and – well, I eat that stuff right up like a pint of Cherry Garcia. You certainly hear it on “Fairweather”, which was co-written by Earle. Driving pounding drums, those crunchy guitar riffs…

allison moorer

Allison made quite a splash in 1998, when her song “A Soft Place to Fall” was included on the soundtrack to ‘The Horse Whisperer’ (one of the best soundtracks I own). That same year, her debut, ‘Alabama Song’ was released on MCA Records.

Allison and her older sister, Shelby Lynne (also a country-esque singer/songwriter) overcame quite a tragic event in their childhood to find success in the Nashville music scene. When they were both teenagers, their alcoholic father shot and killed their mother in the driveway of their Alabama home, and then turned the gun on himself – all while Shelby and Allison looked on. Shelby, who was 17 at the time, raised Allison for the remaining years of her adolescence. Sickening and tragic to even comprehend, but Shelby and Allison have persevered.

What I like about Allison (and her sister) are their refusal to bow down to the Nashville Country Machine, which churns out the cookie cutter singers as products, ruled by the almighty dollar (which country radio eats right up). I like the Nashville rebels, and Allison’s link-up with Steve Earle (in the musical and poetic sense) confirms what I knew I liked about her: artistic integrity and a perpetual middle finger to the “system” (even though Steve Earle sold “The Revolution Starts Now” to a Chevy commercial, but I choose to overlook that).

So take a listen to some Allison Moorer music. Here’s the song from the ‘Horse Whisperer’…

Allison Moorer: A Soft Place to Fall (mp3) – from The Soundtrack to the Horse Whisperer.

And here’s some RealPlayer goodness from her latest album, ‘Getting Somewhere’, her second release on Sugar Hill Records.

Allison Moorer: Fairweather (rm) | New Year’s Day (rm) | How She Does It (rm) – RealPlayer is required for these three

Time is Tight

super black market clash

I finally filled my Clash collection this weekend when I picked up ‘Super Black Market Clash’. What took me so long? I have no clue. But I’m really enjoying hearing some new-to-me Clash songs like “Long Time Jerk”, as well as some cool remixes and dubs of songs like “Mustapha Dance” (a remix of “Rock the Casbah”) and Robber Dub (the dubbed out version of “Bankrobber”).

Also included is a Booker T. & the MG’s tune that the Clash soundchecked on a regular basis. The song was written in the mid 60’s by Booker and the MG’s, and was released first on the 1968 soundtrack to the movie ‘Up Tight!‘. Great album cover, huh? There’s a whole lot going on in that picture.

up tight!

This was also the tune that the Blues Brothers used as they took the stage in many of their live performances. It’ll sound familiar to a lot of you.

The Clash: Time is Tight (mp3) – from Super Black Market Clash.

Booker T. & the MG’s: Time is Tight (mp3) – from the Up Tight! soundtrack.

They Blew Up the Chicken Man in Milwaukee last night

I finally got my greedy hands on the Seeger Sessions version of “Atlantic City”, which opened the Phoenix show that I attended. This one comes from the Milwaukee show all the way back on June 14th (okay, well, last night). I love this arrangement. It was a great opener in Phoenix, the place just came alive when the band exploded into the song part way into it. Last night in my birth state of Wisconsin, the tune was #3 on the set list. Check it out.

Bruce Springsteen & the Seeger Sessions Band: Atlantic City (mp3) – live at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI

So I recently posted about “Rag Mama Rag”, a song by The Band that Bruce has been playing on this tour. Well, let’s swap spots and hear The Band’s version of “Atlantic City”. This came out on their ‘Jericho‘ album, released in ’93.


*** To join my email list for my Bruce posts, send me an email, and I’ll add ya.

Sex Pistols in the ATL

johnny rotten

In January 1978, the Sex Pistols embarked on an ill-fated first tour of the U.S. It would last less than two weeks. By the time they finished their Jan. 14 gig at San Francisco’s Winterland, Johnny Rotten uttered these words on stage: “Ever get the feeling you’re being cheated?”, and walked off. Three days later, Rotten announced the breakup of the Pistols. They would go on to record some material without him, but the Sex Pistols as they were – Rotten, Sid Vicious, Steve Jones, and Paul Cook – were done.

The Pistols’ first gig ever under that name took place November 5th, 1975 at Central St. Martins College of Art & Design in London. Earlier that year, Malcolm McLaren took the helm as the band’s manager. It’s been debated to what degree he influenced the band, but he was very much responsible for their style and image. As former manager of the New York Dolls (1974-1975), and a fan of Richard Hell’s Neon Boys and Television, he knew that image and appearance could be major factors in a band’s success (though the Dolls broke up while he was managing them). He was also co-owner of a clothing shop in London call Let It Rock, later renamed Sex. This would become the gathering spot for the alternative / soon to be called Punk set in the London area. Members of the Pistols, the Clash and the Damned hung out there, as well as a pre-Pretenders Chrissie Hynde.

So it wasn’t long before the Sex Pistols had taken Britain by storm. The years 1976 and 1977 saw the UK punk revolution take flight. The Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Damned, and the Buzzcocks were shaking up the establishment. In that same span, the Pistols zipped through three record labels (EMI to A&M to Virgin) before they finally released their debut, ‘Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols‘ in October 1977. Their relationship with A&M lasted a week. I guess it didn’t help that Sid Vicious trashed (and vomited all over) the Managing Director’s office after the signing ceremony.

album cover

So after the release of Bollocks, things were looking up, amd it was time to go stateside for their first tour. They were booked to appear on Saturday Night Live in December ’77, but because of passport issues, that gig fell through (Elvis Costello & the Attractions took their place). They finally made it over in early January.

Now, I want you to take a look at the cities they played….

Jan. 5: Great Southeast Music Hall, Atlanta, Ga.
Jan. 6: Taliesyn Ballroom, Memphis, Tenn.
Jan. 8: Randy’s Rodeo, San Antonio, Texas
Jan. 9: Kingfish Club, Baton Rouge, La.
Jan. 10: Longhorn Ballroom, Dallas, Texas
Jan. 12: Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, Okla.
Jan. 14: Winterland, San Francisco, Calif.

Is there something wrong with that picture? The Sex Pistols live at Randy’s Rodeo?? A swing through the South? Nothing against the “Deep South”, but were those cities really the best place to premier the Sex Pistols on American soil? Wikipedia claims that on this short tour, the Pistols were “plagued by bad sound and physically hostile audiences, mainly at unlikely venues in the South.” Whoever booked the Pistols at these “unlikely venues” must have been on some really potent stuff.

So let’s go straight to the source and hear for ourselves. Here’s the first gig of their US tour in Atlanta. To this listener, the sound is just fine (it is a soundboard recording), I mean it’s the Sex Pistols here. I don’t sense much hostility from the audience here. If anything, it’s the reverse. Johnny Rotten is vintage Johnny Rotten in his between-song stage banter: rude, vulgar, and unapologetic.

This is from the Pistols’ Press Release regarding the show, from a cool site I recently found:

The Pistols spend a quiet day-and-a-half prior to their debut, granting a few interviews (most notably to Time and Newsweek) while hordes of British journalists scurry around the hotel lobby starting, spreading and squelching various rumors…. Channel 2 in Atlanta (WSB) reports the group as 1) having green hair, 2) vomiting and committing sexual acts on one another as part of their show, and 3) heading for Houston after the Atlanta date… Alex Cooley’s Great Southeast Music Hall is packed to the gills minutes after the doors open at 7:00 p.m..Among those in attendance are 5 television crews, approximately 50 members of the press (including such notables as John Rockwell, Bob Christgau, Wayne Robins, Kit Rachlis, Tony Schwartz and Roger Wolmuth), several police officers and vice squads from both Atlanta and Memphis…. A local band called Cruisomatic opens, primarily doing cover versions of early rock and punk standards (to our ears, they are louder than the Pistols will be later, which is not very loud, contrary to what the Atlanta papers said the next day)..The rain is coming down pretty hard by the time the Pistols go on at about 10:15 p.m.; Rotten asks, “Where’s My Beer?”… “You can all stop staring at us now,” Rotten says after opening with “God Save the Queen,” “We’re ugly and we know it… See what kind of fine upstanding youth England is chucking out these days?”..About 60% of the audience is standing and doing an Americanized version of the Pogo throughout, 20% of the audience is nasty, yelling yelling and throwing things at the band, and 20% of the crowd clearly does not know what on earth is going on..A mighty blow is struck for Punk Rock!!

Nine days later, Rotten would play his last show with the Pistols.
Ten months later, Sid Vicious would be arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. After Sid spent some time in Riker’s Island Prison, McLaren convinced Virgin Records to put up the $50,000 to bail Sid out. At a party celebrating his release on Feb. 2, 1979, Sid Vicious died from an overdose of heroin that he allegedly obtained from his addict mother. Truth is stranger than fiction, my friends.

So coming to you from deep inside Lynnrd Skynnrd territory, it’s the Sex Pistols!

January 5, 1978
Great Southeast Music Hall
Atlanta, Georgia

Download (zip file)

God Save The Queen
I Wanna Be Me
New York
Holidays In The Sun
No Feelings
Pretty Vacant
*Anarchy In The UK
*No Fun
*Tracks 12-14 are from December 11, 1977, Maasbree, Holland

sid vicious

Bonus: Sid ViciousMy Way (mp3)

Sunday Jams

There are certain things in life which make you wonder how you ever survived without them. The internet, cell phones (for better or worse), and for me, Satellite Radio. I’ve been a Sirius subscriber for about a year now, and have discovered so much great music because of the multitude of commercial free channels.

One of my regular stops is Jam_On, which is Sirius’s ‘jam band’ channel, offering up your expected assortment of Phish, Dead, Widpespread Panic, etc. But they also feature some of the lesser known quality jam bands out there.

frame of mind

One of them is Frame of Mind. Their web site shows them to be “from the beaches of Southern California, to the mountains of central Idaho”. Definitely a couple of nice places to hone your craft. They’ve spent the last 5 years or so playing throughout the western states with such bands as Gov’t Mule, The Mother Hips, Arizona’s own Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers, and Soulive (who I’ll be seeing in a couple of months at the Telluride Jazz Celebration).

It was this tune I heard on Sirius. The verses / choruses will conjure up thoughts of Blues Traveler (the harmonica riffs), but it’s the 8 minutes of instrumental meat in the middle which drew me in.

Frame of Mind: It’s All Good (mp3) – recorded live at John’s Alley. Moscow, Idaho – Feb 3, 2006 – check out and buy their music

the motet

Speaking of instrumental jam goodness, the Motet, based out of Boulder, Colorado, have been mixing up funk, jazz, afrobeat, and afro-cuban since 1998. It was founded by drummer Dave Watts, who composes all of their music. If you like percussion oriented music, you’ll like these guys.

The Motet: Belly (mp3) – from their Live CD