We Shall Overcome : The Seeger Sessions
Still The Boss? Oh yeah!

Calling Bruce Springsteen "talented", is a given. His career is filled with many highlights. Merely a year after Devils & Dust comes his latest effort We Shall Overcome : The Seeger Sessions, a tribute album to songs made famous by Pete Seeger - an artist that Bruce admires.

This album is Springsteen's first coveralbum, which can sometimes be a bad thing. A lack of inspiration or contractual obligations can force a performer to make such an album. Think again, because this album nevers feels cheap.

Opening track "Old Dan Tucker" is the best song of the album. This song was created in 1843 and is now in "public domain" - everybody can make his own version for free - but Bruce made a new arrangment. It rocks like hell! "Mrs. McGrath" begins with a Scottish fiddle, a nice touch. "O Mary Don't You Weep" is incredibly addictive. Further essential listening : "John Henry", "My Oklahoma Home" (with a opening riff straight from Frontier Land in Disneyland), "Pay Me My Money Down" and "We Shall Overcome". Don't get me wrong, there's never a dull moment on this album, but these are just the ones that stand out.

The album is released as a DualDisc in the USA. Strangely enough, we get the DVD-portion on a second disc. What's on offer? The entire album in PCM Stereo, Bruce provides commentary (just as he did for the Devils & Dust-DVD) and two tracks cut from the final album. A bargain at 16 ($18).

Just as the movie Walk The Line was an excellent introduction to Johnny Cash's work, We Shall Overcome has whetted my appetite for the collected works of Pete Seeger. A job well done, Bruce!

Julian De Backer, 30 April 2006