Song of The Day #8

3 Jun

In honor of Bruce Springsteen closing out Giants Stadium where Giants fans have celebrated and Jets fans, over the past 40 years, have wallowed in continual defeat (You can tell I am a Jets fan right?), today’s song of the day will be my favorite Bruce Springsteen song.

Devils & DustOver his incredible career Bruce has had a multitude of #1 hits and epic songs from “Thunder Road” to his recent song “The Wrestler” which appeared in the movie “The Wrestler” as the title track. Yet, while his popular classics are fantastic hits my favorite Bruce song is a recent classic dating only four years. “Devils and Dust,” the title track off of Springsteen’s 13th studio album, “Devils and Dust” has a subtle beauty to it that resounds through Springsteen’s vocal, lyrics, and harmonica.

What I believe is most impressive about the song is the build-up. The song begins with Springsteen and an acoustic guitar, the two most basic elements for a musician, instrument and voice. Beginning in the second verse we are introduced to a synthesizer that reverberates as the bass and a rising horns section that matches perfectly with Springsteen’s lyric that also gets louder with the lyric, “The smell begins to rise.” Strings are introduced by the Nashville String Machine, the master group of session musicians. Then we get drums and a bass which combine with the strings and the synthesizer and the guitar and the voice and the lyrics and then wow. You pause and you think. What we need now is an elongated harmonica solo. We get it. It is pronounced above all the other instruments. Everything combines and one can get the image of the soldier that Springsteen portrays in his lyrics. The soldier that is thinking and searching for guidance and a morally correct solution to the war. The soldier who is alone in, “a field of blood and stone…just trying to survive.” The soldier whose harmonica is felt and as it fades and the acoustic guitar (which has both high and low E tuned down to D giving it a deeper sounds) fades and as Springsteen’s voice reaches a culminating note, we as listeners understand why Springsteen is considered one of the very best and even at sixty years old still continues to rock harder and write better then anyone in the music business.

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