Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Dry Lightning” (1995)

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When the fans start talking about what’s next on the Springsteen horizon, there’s usually somebody who will bring up the idea of Bruce doing a country album. This is immediately shot down as being the worst idea ever.

But…is it?

If we lay down the ground rule that the album won’t be one of these slick Nashville, pop music with a bit of twang (plus big hat) deals, then the idea has a lot of promise. If you take a more roots-oriented song like “Dry Lightning” as an example, you can see the promise. Maybe add a touch of pedal steel and sonically you’ve got some country honesty right there. The story, a reflection on a relationship that just didn’t work out, is again pure country…but without the cliché.

Bruce has always been at home with understated songs that tell a big story. Sure as hell beats most modern “country” songs that seem to be big but have nothing to say.

Now, do I want this to happen? Maybe someday. What I’d really like is another E Street record. But a country album? Bruce could pull it off.

Up next: The New Timer

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Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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