Rock News: Music's high and low notes

By JOHN SWENSON, United Press International   |   July 16, 2002 at 3:00 AM
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Bruce Springsteen fans got another glimpse at the forthcoming "The Rising" album when AOL Music debuted the track "Into the Fire." The song opens quietly before building in intensity to become one of the most impassioned pieces Spingsteen's ever written. The lyrics seem to trace the ascent of rescue workers into the World Trade Towers in a deliberate, slow-march cadence, with Springsteen singing in a gnarly, alt-country voice that breaks into an anguished cry. On the chorus, Springsteen is joined by backup singers who give the song an uplifting, gospel feel as they sing:

"May your strength give us strength,

May your faith give us faith,

May your hope give us hope,

May your love give us love."

Another track from the album, "Mary," is scheduled for next week on AOL Music.


With Conan O'Brien sidekick, drummer Max Weinberg leaving his "Late Night" duties to tour with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, guitarist Jimmy Vivino will take over leadership of the "Late Night" band. Weinberg's place will be taken by drummer James "Worm" Wormworth, who is the regular drummer in Vivino's band. Weinberg essentially hired Vivino's group to back him on the TV show, replacing Wormworth, but when the Vivino band plays its numerous live shows Wormworth is the drummer. Wormworth and "Late Night" bassist Michael Merritt have a longstanding musical relationship going back to the 1970s, when they were the award-winning rhythm section behind blues giant Johnny Copeland.


Neil Primrose, drummer for the Scottish rock band Travis, was in stable condition after surgery to repair injuries sustained in a swimming accident last week in France.

"We are pleased to report that ... surgery was completed successfully and the doctors and staff involved are very happy with Neil's progress," said a statement from the band's Web site. "The operation has confirmed that Neil sustained multiple fractures to his upper vertebrae which surgery has now stabilized. His continuing good progress should mean Neil and wife, Esther, will return to the U.K. shortly."


Elvis Presley's greatest recordings will be packaged together with highlights from his labelmates on Sun Records in time for the 25th anniversary of Elvis' death next month.

Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison are some of the artists included in the 44-song, two-compact disc historical set.

"Sun Records 50th Anniversary" features such legendary tracks as Presley's "Mystery Train," Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes," and Sonny Burgess' "Red Headed Woman."

Producer Sam Philips, the mastermind behind the Memphis label, is universally credited for jump-starting Presley's career. Philips recorded such rhythm and blues and blues giants as Ike Turner and Howlin' Wolf before becoming a pioneer of rockabilly. An alternate take of "Mystery Train" is included in the package.


Americana star Delbert McClinton will follow up his Grammy Award-winning "Nothing Personal" album with a new compact disc, "Room To Breathe," scheduled for Sept. 24 release on New West Records.

The new album, produced by Delbert with long-time collaborator Gary Nicholson, features 12 new songs, all of which he wrote or co-wrote. One of the album's songs, "Lone Star Blues," features what Delbert calls a "Gang Sang" -- a chorus including friends Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, Heather Waters and Jessi Alexander -- all of whom recorded their parts in Nashville -- plus Billy Joe Shaver, Ray Benson, Marcia Ball and Kimmie Rhodes -- who recorded their parts in Austin.

Bekka Bramlett also sang backup on a few songs, James Pennebaker, alumnus of Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Lee Roy Parnell, contributed fiddle and pedal steel guitar, and Austin veteran Bill Campbell played rhythm guitar.

McClinton even enlisted a string section for two songs: "Everything I Know About The Blues (I Learned From You)" and "I Don't Wanna Love You Anymore."

"I like this new one a lot I think we did a good job of following "Nothing Personal," he said. "This one picks you up at the end of that last one and takes you through the stuff going through my head since then. And there are some new twists that I'm very anxious for people to hear."

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