New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
WFUV, New York (90.7 FM/wfuv.org) It's Bruce Springsteen's 70th birthday on Monday, September
23, and 90.7 WFUV in New York is celebrating this local hero in a significant and heartfelt way. That evening, from 9-10 p.m. EDT, WFUV will premiere its original program, The Bruce Project, a one-hour special of live covers of Springsteen's songs by artists who consider him an influence and inspiration. The starry lineup of performers includes The Head and the Heart, the Amy Ray Band, The Hold Steady's Craig
Finn, The Tallest Man on Earth, and Robert Randolph & the Family Band. All performances were recorded at FUV's Studio A at Fordham University in the Bronx.
In the program, Springsteen's fellow songwriters and admirers, like Glen Hansard
and Rosanne Cash, offer their perspectives on the cultural resonance of the venerated New Jersey musician.
"I can think of no other artist more deserving of this deep dive into his legacy than Bruce," says FUV Music Director
Russ Borris. "There's vast reverence and respect for him in the music community, not to mention the long road of influence he has forged over his six-decades-long career."
The Bruce Project, which premieres during WFUV's eight-day 2019 fall fundraising drive, was compiled over the past nine months and now culminates in 10 stellar performances of Springsteen's hits - and lesser-known gems too.
London-based songwriter David
Gray picked one of his Springsteen favorites from 1982's Nebraska, "Mansion on the Hill" - a song that Gray calls "simple and wonderful." Shreveport, Louisiana newcomers Seratones gravitated towards "State Trooper," another meaningful cut on that same album, a song which singer AJ Haynes says that she connects with in a particularly personal way.
Fellow Jersey musicians are duly represented: Titus Andronicus kicks out a triumphant cover of "Glory Days," from 1984's Born in the U.S.A., and Pete Yorn
calls his choice, "Your Own Worst Enemy" from 2007's Magic, "exactly my life at that time."
And Ray, who admits that she always feels a little reticent covering Springsteen in public since she loves his music so much, broke her own rule (again) for The Bruce Project and played a riveting version of "Racing in the Street," found on 1978's Darkness
on the Edge of Town.
An artist-to-artist love letter, The Bruce Project is the first in the series of Project programs that WFUV will undertake in the future. While it's always illuminating to delve into artist influences in interviews, the realization of one artist's impact on another, via live performance, brings that respect to another level.
"The variety of voices and points of view from the artists covering Bruce brings new depth to these storied songs," says FUV Program Director
Rita Houston. "As Glen Hansard
explained to me, 'You know, there are many great songs in our lives. There's not many that you go and learn.'"