I love to see the cottonwood blossom
In the early spring
I love to see the message of love
That the bluebird brings
But when I see you walkin’ with him
Down along the strand
I wish I were blind
When I see you with your man
I love to see your hair shining
In the long summer’s light
I love to watch the stars fill the sky
On a summer night
The music plays you take his hand
I watch how you touch him as you start to dance
And I wish I were blind
When I see you with your man
We struggle here but all our love’s in vain
And these eyes that once filled me with your beauty
Now fill me with pain
And the light that once entered here
Is banished from me
And this darkness is all baby that my heart sees
And though the world is filled
With the grace and beauty of God’s hand
Oh I wish I were blind
When I see you with your man
From Human Touch.
Herning, Denmark 2013 05 16, Wish I were blind:
it’s basically about a guy who’s hung up on a woman he can’t have and it’s taken all of the good out of life. This song’s playing on the same ideas as ‘Man’s Job’. In that song he’s obsessed with a woman who is being taken out by another guy. In both songs he sees them dancing and in both songs all his dreams get brought down. In man’s job he sings ‘all my illusions slip away’. In this song he sings ‘these eyes that once filled me with beauty now fill me with pain’.
A fabulous 2006 Seeger Sessions Show. The one I’ve watched the most from this tour.
Bruce Springsteen – The Seeger Sessions Live, a video recording of a May 9, 2006 performance in London’s St Luke Old Street church, was filmed by the BBC and also broadcast in the U.S. by PBS. (wikipedia)
Recorded at St. Luke’s in London’s East End, Bruce Springsteen performs an intimate concert of songs selected from his new album, WE SHALL OVERCOME: THE SEEGER SESSIONS, a collection of standards and spirituals popularized by the legendary Pete Seeger. Springsteen’s UK concert performances have thrilled the critics, with THE INDEPENDENT raving, “an astonishingly rich evening … his music has rarely sounded more spontaneous or vitalizing than this,” and THE OBSERVER adding, “Springsteen and the Seeger Session band were an inspiring triumph.” Among the songs featured are “John Henry,” “O Mary Don’t You Weep,” “Pay Me My Money Down,” and “We Shall Overcome.” (pbs.org)
Mary Don’t You Weep
How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
My Oklahoma Home
We Shall Overcome
Pay Me My Money Down
Broadcast on BBC Radio 2 and televised (in part) on BBC4 and in high definition on BBC HD. Concert held in the 18th century St. Luke Old Street church, now a music centre operated by the London Symphony Orchestra. Two runthroughs of “O Mary Don’t You Weep” and “Mrs. McGrath”, while “Jacob’s Ladder” requires a restart after an amusing Bruce mistake. Available on several DVD presentations and on CD “The Church Sessions” (Godfather). (brucebase.wikispace.com)
Today we present one of the best of the still unreleased tracks from the Nebraska sessions, The Losin’ Kind. The song started out as The Answer an early home demo with slightly different lyrics.
The melody is reminiscent of Highway Patrolman (Nebraska) and the story is about the same as in the song Highway 29 (The Ghost of Tom Joad), and I’m guessing that these similarities will keep the song in Springsteen’s vault.
As I said the song started out as The Answer before it became The Losin’ Kind and both versions are in circulation:
The Answer (The Losin’ kind acoustic demo) was recorded in fall 1981 (sometime between September and December), at Thrill Hill Recording in Colts Neck.
The Losin’ Kind (the “finished” version) were probably taped on 03 Jan 1982 at Thrill Hill Recording. There are records of a third version, but I’ve not heard it and I don’t think it floats around the web.
Let us hear the song.
The Losin’ Kind:
Incredibly good ! …and will hopefully be included on Tracks part 2 (if that is ever released…)
The Nebraska sessions were never conceived to result in a commercially released album. Bruce’s intention was to create a batch of multi-channel, professional sounding, finished solo demos to demonstrate to The E Street Band at sessions for the follow-up to The River album due to start in New York City in February 1982. By creating professional demos Springsteen felt the band sessions would progress faster than they had for his previous three albums.
To achieve his goal in December 1981 Springsteen asked his guitar technician, Mike Batlan, to set up a no frills “porta-studio” in a spare room of Bruce’s Colts Neck, NJ home. Some modification work was done to the room to make it more receptive to achieving a decent sound. Batlan purchased a Teac Tascam (Series 144) 4-track cassette recorder, 2 x Shure SM57 mics and 2 x mic stands. The sound was mixed through an old Gibson Echoplex and an old Panasonic boom box acted as the mix-down deck.
Springsteen recorded during the first few days of January, with the bulk of the songs recorded in one all day/night session on January 3, 1982. There were 15 songs recorded and some of them were recorded 2 or 3 times in slightly different arrangements. However two or three months later, with a few of these 15 songs by-then earmarked for coverage by the E Street Band, Springsteen recorded 2 additional songs (“My Father’s House” and “The Big Payback”) at home on the same equipment – thus making a total of 17 different songs…
…Always, the choice of material is a revelation. The Beast In Me (written by former son-in-law, Nick Lowe) could be autobiographical. And while writers like horrorpunk figurehead Glenn Danzig or Tom Waits probably would never have figured on his radar were it not for Rubin; time and again the duo found songs that were, in Cash’s hands, to take on new life. This willingness to experiment was to set a precedent: Subsequent albums were to see him work magic on material from Nine Inch Nails to U2 and Depeche Mode. But Johnny Cash’s final road to redemption and artistic fulfillment starts here…
~Chris Jones (bbc.co.uk)
American Recordings did something very important — it gave Cash a chance to show how much he could do with a set of great songs and no creative interference, and it afforded him the respect he’d been denied for so long, and the result is a powerful and intimate album that brought the Man in Black back to the spotlight, where he belonged.
~Mark Deming (allmusic.com)
#1 – Delia’s Gone
April 26, 1994
May 17, 1993 – December 7, 1993
Country, country folk, americana, folk rock
American Recordings is the 81st album by the country singer Johnny Cash. It was released in April 1994, the first album issued by American Recordings after its name change from Def American, the album being named after the new label. In 2003, the album was ranked number 364 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Cash was approached by producer Rick Rubin and offered a contract with Rubin’s American Recordings label, better known for rap and heavy metal than for country music. Under Rubin’s supervision, he recorded the album in his living room, accompanied only by his guitar. For years Cash was often at odds with his producers after he had discovered with his first producer, Sam Phillips, that his voice was better suited to a stripped-down musical style. Most famously he disagreed with Jack Clement over his sound, Clement having tried to give Cash’s songs a “twangy” feel and to add strings and barbershop-quartet-style singers. His successful collaboration with Rick Rubin was in part due to Rubin seeking a minimalist sound for his songs.
#3 – The Beast In Me:
The songs “Tennessee Stud” and “The Man Who Couldn’t Cry” were recorded live at the Viper Room, a Sunset Strip, Los Angeles nightclub owned at the time by Johnny Depp. “The Beast in Me” was written and originally recorded by Cash’s former stepson-in-law Nick Lowe.
The video for the first single, the traditional song “Delia’s Gone” (directed by Anton Corbijn, featuring Kate Moss), was put into rotation on MTV, and even appeared on Beavis and Butt-head, Beavis asking if Cash was Captain Kangaroo. The album was hailed by critics and many declared it to be Cash’s finest album since the late 1960s, while his versions of songs by more modern artists such as Tom Waits and Glenn Danzig (who penned a song called “Thirteen” specifically for Cash, in just twenty minutes) helped to bring him a new audience. American Recordings received a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album of the Year at the 1994 Grammy Awards. The album cover was photographed whilst Cash was visiting Australia, at Werribee near Melbourne.
Johhny Cash & Rick Rubin in studio
#5 – Why Me Lord:
“Delia’s Gone” (Karl Silbersdorf, Dick Toops) – 2:18
Originally recorded by Cash for The Sound of Johnny Cash (1962)
“Let the Train Blow the Whistle” (Cash) – 2:15
“The Beast in Me” (Nick Lowe) – 2:45
Originally recorded by Lowe for The Impossible Bird (1994)
“Drive On” (Cash) – 2:23
“Why Me Lord” (Kris Kristofferson) – 2:20
Originally recorded by Kristofferson for Jesus Was a Capricorn (1972)
“Thirteen” (edit) (Glenn Danzig) – 2:29
Full-length version appears on Disc 5 of the Unearthed Box Set. Written by Glenn Danzig for Cash. Later recorded by Danzig for Danzig 6:66 Satan’s Child (1999)
“Oh, Bury Me Not (Introduction: A Cowboy’s Prayer)” (John Lomax, Alan Lomax, Roy Rogers, Tim Spencer) – 3:52
Originally recorded by Cash for Sings the Ballads of the True West (1965)
“Bird on a Wire” (Leonard Cohen) – 4:01
Originally recorded by Cohen for Songs from a Room (1969)
“Tennessee Stud” (live) (Jimmy Driftwood) – 2:54
Originally a hit single for Eddy Arnold (1959)
“Down There by the Train” (Tom Waits) – 5:34
Written by Waits for Cash. Later released by Waits on his Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards rarities collection.
“Redemption” (Cash) – 3:03
“Like a Soldier” (Cash) – 2:50
“The Man Who Couldn’t Cry” (live) (Loudon Wainwright) – 5:03
Originally recorded by Wainwright for Attempted Mustache (1973)
Rick Rubin – producer
Johnny Cash – acoustic guitar, vocals, main performer, liner notes
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