[Dixielandjazz] Springsteen on revivalist music. . .

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 25 07:16:47 PDT 2006

Are there parallels between Springsteen's Folk Revival take and the
Dixieland Revival? If so, could we use a Springsteen like Dixieland Band to
start another Dixieland revival? His current performances are SRO.

Below is excerpted from the full article.

Steve Barbone

Springsteen Takes Folk Tradition for a Spin

NY TIMES - By JON PARELES - June 23, 2006

Every so often during his concert with his Seeger Sessions band at Madison
Square Garden on Thursday night, Bruce Springsteen footnoted his songs like
the authenticity-obsessed characters who made the folk revival so easy to
ridicule.  .  .

It started with banjo picking, .  .  .  and wound up with some razzing
Dixieland-style horns. It was tough-minded and fun; it was also about as
authentic as a covered wagon with chrome wheels.

The Seeger Sessions band is Mr. Springsteen's uninhibited take on the folk
revival, .  .  .

In hindsight, they (folk revivalists) were about half right. The folkies
understood that the old songs are a trove of melody, history, poetry and
anonymous genius .  .  . But the folkies' garbled notions of authenticity -
rewriting lyrics as agitprop was fine, using an electric guitar was not -
led the folk revival to self-parody and obsolescence when rock started
taking itself just as seriously.  .  .

Mr. Springsteen's band grew to 19 members during the concert, including a
six-member horn section. Nearly all the instruments were acoustic. The band
didn't simply strum and pick in the hootenanny style of folk-revival acts
like the New Christy Minstrels (although a 1960's group, the Village
Stompers, had some similar string-band-to-Dixieland arrangements).  .  .

But the concert never bogged down in self-righteousness.  .  .

And if the spirit of the folk revival was in its singalongs, then Mr.
Springsteen was definitely carrying it on. His fans have long filled arenas
with verse-and-chorus singalongs on his songs, and they had already learned
the material on the new album. Now they were raising their voices to sing
old songs revived one more time.

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