Clarence Clemons (1942–2011)

Have a save journey, meet you further on up the road…

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Clarence doesn’t leave the E Street Band when he dies. He leaves when we die.
– Bruce Springsteen

Watch the FULL EPISODE online at PBS beginning October 15, 2009 through December 10, 2009:

Mercedes Sosa (1935-2009)

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Grammy Award-winning music legend Kris Kristofferson opens his latest release with the title track “Closer To The Bone,” an intense, intimate song which the Los Angeles Times describes as “a celebration of that point in life where every moment becomes precious.” The record continues with 11 poignant tracks. Closer To The Bone, his second release with New West Records, is scheduled for release on September 29, 2009. The new record was produced by Grammy Award winning producer Don Was (Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt) who also produced Kristofferson’s last CD, the critically acclaimed This Old Road. Closer To The Bone will be released as a standard CD, deluxe two-CD set as well as limited edition 180 gram vinyl.

The personal lyrics on Closer To The Bone are a reflection of Kristofferson’s epic journey. “I like the intimacy of the new album” he explains in a recent interview. “It has a general mood of reflecting on where we all are at this end of life.” In addition to the title track, other stand out cuts include “From Here To Forever,” a melancholy lullaby to his children, and “Good Morning John,” written for Kristofferson’s friend and mentor, the late Johnny Cash, about the struggles with addiction early in Cash’s life.

Closer To The Bone features Kristofferson on vocals, guitar and harmonica, Don Was on bass, Rami Jaffee on keyboards, Jim Keltner on drums and longtime friend, the late Stephen Bruton, to whom the album is dedicated, on guitar, mandolin and backing vocals. All lyrics and music were written solely by Kristofferson except “From Here To Forever” which was written in collaboration with Stephen Bruton and Glen Clark.

[New West Records]

The only Boss I listen to:

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Lucinda Williams, Lambchop, Calexico: Drei gewinnt

Kein Vorprogramm auf der Zitadelle, keine Flop-Acts, nur Top-Acts, drei exzellente Bands: Lucinda Williams, Lambchop, Calexico. Alle spielen eine runde Stunde.
Von H.P. Daniels
Der Tagespiegel, 2009-07-09

Unsicherheiten nur beim unsteten Wetter. Dräuende Wolken. Und dann müssen Lucinda Williams und ihre Band Buick 6 in ein Meer von Schirmen blicken. Auf der Bühne sehen sie aus wie beim Soundcheck: salopp und ungeschminkt im harschen Tageslicht — Lucindas Haare weniger blond als sonst, schwarze Jacke mit eingestickter blumiger Friedensrune auf dem Rücken, Gibson-Akustikgitarre vorne. “Happy Woman Blues” singt sie zu federndem Rockabilly-Beat, den Titelsong vom zweiten Album aus dem Jahr 1980. Das ist lange her, doch seit einiger Zeit ist sie tatsächlich wieder “a happy woman” — neuer Lebensgefährte, alles gut. “Little Honey” heißt die jüngste Platte.

Daher auch weniger bittersüße Country-Musik jetzt, mehr lebensbejahender Rock ‘n’ Roll. Verstärkt wird die knalligere neue Spielart vom neuen Gitarristen Eric Schermerhorn, der einst Iggy Pop und David Bowie zur Seite stand. Heute — im wilden Wechselspiel mit Chet Lyster, mit aufeinanderprallenden, sowie hin- und herspringenden Riffs und Bottleneck-Slides — verpasst er dem Programm einen kräftigen Keith/Ronnie-Stein-Schlag.

Unfair gegen den Neuen wäre es, laut auszusprechen, dass man zwischendrin doch manchmal den jahrelangen Mitstreiter Doug Pettibone vermisst, vor allem seine Country-Einfärbungen mit der Pedal-Steel.
Die Band rockt, Lucinda wippt und lacht.

Nach fünf Songs sind sie richtig in ihrem Element. Eingespielt, voll drauf. “Tears Of Joy” sind die schiere Freude, und Lucindas Stimme knirscht schotterig schön. “Out Of Touch” rollt stampfend wie ein Schaufeldampfer auf dem Mississippi.

“What is this?” fragt die kleine, taffe Lady aus Louisiana vergnügt: jetzt, wo sie die elektrische Gitarre rausgeholt habe, kommt auch die Sonne raus, die Schirme wieder rein. Mattgoldene Sonne, silbrig glänzende James-Trussart-Steelcaster-Gitarre. Mit drei elektrischen Gitarren wird der Biss noch einen Zahn kräftiger, passend zum Song: “Real Live, Bleeding Fingers And Broken Guitar Strings”. Und um das gute Dutzend vollzumachen zum Schluss AC/DCs “It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll”. Dort ist Lucinda Williams längst angekommen. Ganz oben.

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More clips from Munich on YouTube.

2009-07-02, Olympiastadion, München

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band live in Munich! A stadium show on a hot summer night; though I was sceptical, Olympiastadium is very nice — and even nicer from the pit in front of the stage.

And what a night: My eight show was one of the best with the E Street Band! This ‘wow, awesome’ feeling was there immediately, I was crying already at the third song, and singing all night long. The band was great: Max was here!, though Clarence could hardly move, he got his (few) solos right, and Nils is awesome but underemployed.

The difference to the last tour was a very loose Bruce, having fun and celebrating a big party (not only Roy’s birthday). Inflatable cake , paper plane, and squeaking toy dragon included. Plus, the neck breaking speed of the Magic Tour was gone, with a great setlist (though, next night’s Frankfurt set was stellar).

Highlights were a fun Spirit in the Night, Seeds (great guitar) and Atlantic City, Seven Night To Rock, and a beautiful The River (steaming hot in Glastonbury). After a sign request brought an impromtu This Hard Land (pulled from a numbered envelope), the most memorable moment was the request for Orbison’s Pretty Woman for Roy’s birthday. That sign just had to get his attention! Big thanks to the two Belgian guys for that work.

Hard Times was a final highlight (and Cindy very hot), but still not the end of a 2:50 hrs show…


Muss I denn zum Städtele hinaus aka Wooden Heart [Nils solo]
My Lucky Day
No Surrender
Outlaw Pete
Spirit in the Night
Working on a Dream
Johnny 99
Atlantic City
Seven Nights to Rock
This Hard Land
Pretty Woman
Because the Night
Waitin’ on a Sunny Day
The Promised Land
The River
Kingdom of Days
Lonesome Day
The Rising
Born to Run
Tenth Avenue Freeze-out
* * *
Hard Times
Bobby Jean
American Land
Detroit Medley
Glory Days
Dancing in the Dark

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On a journey through the past… with Neil’s big box toy for those who won’t ever grow up: Web demo of Archives No. 1 (The North Country 1971).

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Preview 125 tracks at

Of course, that’s what Pete’s done his whole life. He sings all the verses all the time, especially the ones that we’d like to leave out of our history as a people.

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As Pete and I traveled to Washington for President Obama’s Inaugural Celebration, he told me the entire story of “We Shall Overcome”. How it moved from a labor movement song and with Pete’s inspiration had been adapted by the civil rights movement. That day as we sang “This Land Is Your Land” I looked at Pete, the first black president of the United States was seated to his right, and I thought of the incredible journey that Pete had taken. My own growing up in the sixties in towns scarred by race rioting made that moment nearly unbelievable and Pete had thirty extra years of struggle and real activism on his belt. He was so happy that day, it was like, Pete, you outlasted the bastards, man!…It was so nice. At rehearsals the day before, it was freezing, like fifteen degrees and Pete was there; he had his flannel shirt on. I said, man, you better wear something besides that flannel shirt! He says, yeah, I got my longjohns on under this thing.

And I asked him how he wanted to approach “This Land Is Your Land”. It would be near the end of the show and all he said was, “Well, I know I want to sing all the verses, I want to sing all the ones that Woody wrote, especially the two that get left out, about private property and the relief office.” (more…)

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