THE TIES THAT BIND: The Timeless River That Runs Through Bruce Springsteen’s America

A Very Happy 70th birthday to The Boss! Here are a couple of things I wrote awhile back when considering Bruce Springsteen’s place as a singer, songwriter, musician, entertainer, and enduring cultural force on an ever-shifting American music landscape. Listening to the venerable Philadelphia radio station WXPN celebrate Bruce’s birthday today with a 70-for-70 song marathon, I’m reminded anew that the consistent quality and inspiration (as well as inspirational quality) of Springsteen’s work across four-plus decades certainly lays claim to him being one of the greatest songwriters of the past half-century. (The E Street Band ain’t too shabby either). Feel free to leave a comment sharing your own Springsteen favorite song or memory. We’d love to hear about it!

RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog

bruce-springsteenPhotJoelBernstein Bruce Springsteen, circa “The River.” Photograph by Joel Bernstein

It may not exactly be breaking news that the indomitable Bruce Springsteen and his (nearly as) indomitable E Street Band are currently on the road again. After all, going out and playing music for months on end is pretty much the life Springsteen has lived for more than 40 years.

But this time, embracing the trend that has in recent years swept up so many other rock artists and bands — and not just of the so-called ‘Classic Rock’ era either — Bruce is bringing a career-defining album (and in his case, a double LP) to life in a live setting: 1980’s “The River,” which is among his finest and most sweeping works. “The River Tour,” as it’s being called, quite literally runs through a good chunk of the country through this coming April (in fact, Springsteen’s next show is Feb. 10 at the XL Center in…

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