For You2 – Compilation – a tribute to Bruce Springsteen

About the album

I know, I know, “Eyes on the Prize”, included here, is not a Bruce Springsteen song. It’s a traditional.
But how can you put together, in 2010, a Bruce Springsteen tribute album without thinking for only 5 minutes about the kind of crossroad that the Seeger Session (both the album and the 2006/2007 tour) has been?

While writing from Belfast a short review of the Session Band’s last show (to date), I ended up sending this note to Backstreets Magazine: “The magic of this tour was to experience a trip that took you in every musical direction, like being on the same bus with Asleep At The Wheel, Hank Williams, Cab Calloway, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Little Feat and the Chieftains. How was this possible? As long as you have Springsteen behind the wheel, anything is possible.” It really is.

In 1994, when I started to cut tracks to include in the For You cd, which actually happened to be the first purposely recorded Bruce Springsteen tribute album ever (only a couple of collections of already existing cover songs had surfaced in the Eighties), Springsteen, in my eyes, was still more of a Chuck Berry than a Johnny Cash. The Ghost of Tom Joad was about to change the perception that critics and the masses had of this brilliant rock poet, who is now, needless to say, the most complete and eclectic songwriter of his generation.

While that single tribute album, which I had the honor to hand deliver a copy to the Boss himself, was intentionally a mixed bag (Italian pop, soul, alternative and rock musicians all together dealing with a versatile catalogue), the new For You cd – this time a double set – while still widely picking songs (a couple of unreleased 1970 Steel Mill gems are here, as well as 2009’s “Tomorrow Never Knows”) dives more into that Americana sound we experienced with albums like The Ghost of Tom Joad, Devils & Dust and We Shall Overcome: the Seeger Sessions. It certainly rocks with “Adam Raised a Cain”, the ghost of Elvis lingers behind every note of “Johnny Bye Bye”, but deals quite often with characters and instruments you could set in the Southwest rather than the East Coast.

This also explains why the artwork here “smells” more like the lost highways rather than the New York City backstreets (but hey, there’s a lot of New Jersey too). Just like in the lyrics to “American Land”, here you’ll find a community of (many) Italians in the company of Irish-Americans (fellow Texans JT Van Zandt and Elizabeth Lee sing for us, Chris Cacavas of Green On Red and Dream Syndicate fame plays Hammond, a girl of Irish-Italian blood happily sings about “hope and dreams”). They all share their love for Bruce Springsteen and the many sides of that sound you may call blues, rock’n’roll, country or folk.

Americana made in Italy? Why not.

All I can say is that these 25 songs is our sincere way to show, from this side of the Atlantic, our gratitude and loyalty to Bruce Springsteen for being and remaining a constant inspiration. In music and in life.

God bless you Bruce.

Ermanno Labianca
Rome, Italy
July 2010

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CD 1
1.It’s hard to be a saint in the city RICCARDO MAFFONI (da Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ, 1973)
2.Johnny bye bye BRANDO (dalle session di Born in the U.S.A, 1984)
3.Iceman MASSIMILIANO LAROCCA (dalle session di Darkness on the Edge of Town, 1978)
4.The ghost of Tom Joad MODENA CITY RAMBLERS (da The Ghost of Tom Joad, 1995)
5.Eyes on the prize TENCA/SEVERINI/BASILE (da The Seeger Sessions, 2006) *
6.Be true LORENZO BERTOCCHINI & ELIZABETH REED (dalle session di The River, 1980)
7.State trooper (instrumental) PJ FARAGLIA (da Nebraska, 1982)
8.Racing in the street ANDREA PARODI & JT VAN ZANDT (da Darkness On The Edge of Town, 1978)
9.Adam raised a Cain RUSTIES (da Darkness On The Edge of Town, 1978)
10.Matamoros banks LUIGI MARIANO (da Devils & Dust, 2005)
11.Radio nowhere DANIELE GROFF (da Magic, 2007)
12.Land of hope and dreams MARDI GRAS (da Live in New York City, 2000)

1.Cadillac ranch (instrumental) PJ FARAGLIA (da The River, 1980)
2.Sherry Darling LORENZO BERTOCCHINI (da The River, 1980)
3.The train song SRL FREEWAYS (Steel Mill, 1970) **
4.Guilty (The judge song) DUST’N’BONES (Steel Mill, 1970) **
5.Factory DANIELE TENCA (da Darkness On The Edge of Town, 1978)
6.Jesus was an only son JOE SLOMP (da Devils & Dust, 2005)
7.Soul driver LOWLANDS (da Human Touch, 1992)
8.Better days WILD JUNKERS (da Lucky Town, 1992)
9.Nothing man SERGIO MARAZZI & OIL (da The Rising, 2002)
10.Youngstown CHEAP WINE (da The Ghost of Tom Joad, 1995)
11.Growin’ up ANTONIO ZIRILLI (da Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ, 1973)
12.Shut out the light MIAMI & THE GROOVERS (dalle session di Born in the U.S.A, 1984)
13.Tomorrow never knows FRANCESCO LUCARELLI (da Working on a Dream, 2009)
Lowlands musicians:
Edward Abbiati: Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar,
Simone Fratti: Bass
Chiara Giacobbe: Violin
Phil Ariens: Drums
Roberto Diana: Electric, Slide, Lap Steel,
Stefano Speroni: Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar
Ste Brandinali: Piano & Keyboards
Chris Cacavas: Hammond

produced by Ermanno Labianca & Route 61

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Roberto Diana

Award winning Sardinian electro-acoustic stringed multi-instrumentalist songwriter, composer and performer.