23 Songs, 2 Hours 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bruce Springsteen has been chasing his American Dream since his earliest days. From the Dylanesque colloquialisms of his first albums to the West Side Story drama that informed 1975’s Born to Run through the working class fever that climaxed with the acoustic home demos of 1982’s Nebraska to 1984’s all-out stadium tour assault with Born in the U.S.A., the tugs at Woody Guthrie with 1994’s The Ghost of Tom Joad and finally the down-home hoe-downs of the Pete Seeger-inspired We Shall Overcome from 2006, Bruce Springsteen is the most unabashed American performer in modern times. Live in Dublin was recorded at the Point, Dublin, Ireland on November 17,18 and 19, 2006 with the touring group that first took shape in his living room. Springsteen invigorates these classic forms of American music — Dixieland, folk, blues, country, gospel and rock — with his boundless energy, injecting a preacher’s fire and brimstone to everything he sings. Most interesting, he reinvents his own catalog, as “Atlantic City,” “If I Should Fall Behind,” “Growin’ Up” and “Blinded by the Light” among others are radically overhauled, with the countrified “Highway Patrolmen” being the immediate standout.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Bruce Springsteen has been chasing his American Dream since his earliest days. From the Dylanesque colloquialisms of his first albums to the West Side Story drama that informed 1975’s Born to Run through the working class fever that climaxed with the acoustic home demos of 1982’s Nebraska to 1984’s all-out stadium tour assault with Born in the U.S.A., the tugs at Woody Guthrie with 1994’s The Ghost of Tom Joad and finally the down-home hoe-downs of the Pete Seeger-inspired We Shall Overcome from 2006, Bruce Springsteen is the most unabashed American performer in modern times. Live in Dublin was recorded at the Point, Dublin, Ireland on November 17,18 and 19, 2006 with the touring group that first took shape in his living room. Springsteen invigorates these classic forms of American music — Dixieland, folk, blues, country, gospel and rock — with his boundless energy, injecting a preacher’s fire and brimstone to everything he sings. Most interesting, he reinvents his own catalog, as “Atlantic City,” “If I Should Fall Behind,” “Growin’ Up” and “Blinded by the Light” among others are radically overhauled, with the countrified “Highway Patrolmen” being the immediate standout.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
133 Ratings

133 Ratings

kyle butler ,

The New E Street Band?

Springsteen has never sounded so fresh and thrilled to be playing music as he does in this collection taken from concerts in Dublin, Ireland in Nov. For those of you who rolled your eyes when the Seeger Sessions was released over a year ago, thinking Springsteen had run out of ideas or was fullfilling his record contract,I know I was guilty of thinking this way too. He truly converted me to this music when I saw him live about a year ago. I have seen the E Street band, solo Bruce and his 1992 band. This is by far the most fun I have ever seen Springsteen have on stage. This music lets the listener research where this music came from and why it is important no only to Springsteen but to most "relevant" musicians playing today. I know I had never heard of My Oklahoma Home, Pay Me My Money Down, Eyes on the Prize, etc. before. As a bonus there are seven Springsteen compositions mixed in. Listen to Open All Night and then appreciate what can be done to a song that was written accoustically over 25 years ago. Good songs can be interpreted in a myriad of different ways. I hope this is not the last Session Band record.

BTinSP ,

Mightily Evolved

I set aside the We Shall Overcome disc shortly after its release in April '06. The material that was cropping up on the Web from the live shows shortly after the April Asbury Park rehersal shows was proving to be much more interesting and revealing of what an amazing band the SSB was becoming. This material has NOT left my playlist since. Live in Dublin provides access to some of the songs that were getting added to the tour in Europe during the fall of '06, which is great. Highway Patrolman is still a chilling, heartbreaking story, and Blinded By the Light seems to bask in its 35 year make-over. Live in Dublin doens't necessary have the best arrangements of Further On (Up the Road) or Open All Night, they can be found elsewhere on the Web, and I think it was a mistake to drop Bring 'em Home from the setlist. On the plus side, the audience FINALLY gets a nice place in the mix and gets to be part of a Springsteen live release. These recordings document the accomplishment of a group of individual musians as they transformed themselves into a singularly unique band; an American metaphor in and of itself. The disc should have been released as Live in Dublin -- The Seeger Sessions Band, arranged and conducted by Bruce Springsteen, or alternatively, The Last Waltz by the Band, Vol. 2. Five stars for pure exuberence, full heart and enjoyment.

KevinP ,

I have seen the future of 18 piece band acoustic folk rock...

And his name is Bruce Springsteen...with the Sessions Band. But the simple genre "folk rock" would sell short the awesome power this record has. You're gonna find Dixieland jazz, blues, straight up gospel raves, and pure country cuts all over the place. It's making it's own genre. There may not be any electric guitars on stage but don't let that suggest that this is 23 tracks of unbridled electricity. For any doubters of the entire Seeger Sessions project, this is irrefutable evidence of it's worth.

Bruce and his rag-tag gang of banjo players, fiddlers, horn blowers, and an army of power-house background vocalists provide the soundtrack to one irresistibly boisterous hootenanny. The Boss man has followed his muse all the way back to the roots of American music and the results are a little more than spectactular. But anybody worried that he's become bored with his own catalogue of should have their ears perked by the radical re-arrangements of "Atlantic City", "Further On (Up the Road)", "If I Should Fall Behind", and an unrecognizable "Blinded By the Light".

Usually I would pick out record highlights, but I can't hear. The whole thing is one blistering highlight of an album. There's nothing worth skipping in these 23 tracks.

The increased output of live material from the Springsteen means nothing but a good thing. Live in Dublin is proof positive that the Boss is far from done yet and an excellent representation of what was one of the most exciting projects he’s done.

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