Thursday, April 27, 2006

Ahoy Mateys! It's Captain Springsteen!

Okay, so Bruce Springsteen recorded an album of Pete Seeger covers. I knew that was coming.

Today, KFOG started playing cuts from the new CD.

This may very well be the biggest shift in the format since competition from the brief all-80's all-the-time formats circa 2000-2001 had Howard Jones, Madness, and Men at Work enter their playlist for the very first time (KFOG didn't play these guys in the 80s).

But with this new Springsteen album, AAA radio may never be the same.

It's not a mighty wind that's a blowin'. And I can't guarantee that "Old Dan Tucker" or "Froggie Went a Courtin'" are gonna bump Coldplay from the air.
Still, today I heard something I heretofore could not have imagined on commercial radio: a Sea chantey.

I thought I heard the captain say,
Pay me my money down,
"Tomorrow is our sailing day."
Pay me my money down.

Sure, it's a little faster than you'd sing it while working the capstan, or hoisting the mainsail, and likely 19th century sailors didn't have the sound of cajun fiddle and Nawlins funeral horns and dixieland banjo to cheer them on. Springsteen's new roots band gives this rollicking song a ride, complete with two accordion solos (the first of which kicks the sea chantey into a tex-mex polka).

The music video gives me the idea that the whole album was conceived after a couple of bottles of moonshine got passed around at one of the Boss's jam sessions. It will be everywhere on the Internets soon. You can check it out at YouTube, Country music Television, or even Barnes and Noble: link

Actually, I prefer Dan Zanes' version, but Zanes isnt' reinventing AAA radio.

I'll never hear KFOG's foghorn the same way again.


Tim said...

I know, I know-- this particular tune is a halyard shanty, so you would not sing it working the capstan.

Deirdre said...

I heard his track of 'John Henry.' Got goosebumps.