Bob Dylan did it in his early years, when he was still something of a vagabond himself, but as he grew older and more successful he turned to more internal and cerebral subject matter (with plenty of exceptions, I know… please spare me the hate comments, Dylanphiles!).
Today’s clip is another wonderful example.
As a promotion for Bono’s ONE campaign, Elvis Costello teamed up with Mumford & Sons to perform a mash-up of Bruce Springsteen and Woody Guthrie. This may well have happened in a pre-YouTube era, but would I have seen it?
Bruce Springsteen’s The Ghost of Tom Joad, released in 1995, was a return to the style and themes of the haunting Nebraska. Recorded mostly on acoustic guitar, the somber album drew inspiration (and its title character) from Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.
Springsteen has always been a populist songwriter though he tends to not get overly political in his songs. Instead he gets his point across by weaving the hard-luck tales of men and women who are society’s victims.