the songs from Bruce Springsteen’s seminal 1975 album Born to Run using only ukulele, bass and percussion. Stripped bare, the songs showcase the outstanding lyrical talents of Springsteen, as well as his gift for writing melodies. I once had a world-famous record producer tell me that “a good song is a good song, no matter what style you choose to play it in.” Nowhere is that statement truer than here.

The eight tracks all lend themselves

quite well to the ukulele. Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) starts the album out with a breathtaking reading of “Thunder Road,” and Emily Sailers (Indigo Girls) makes “Born to Run” her very own on the four-strings. One of Nashville’s finest, Will Kimbrough, strips “Tenth Avenue Freeezeout” to its barest es- sentials, and the Weepies deliver the albums debut single, an apt cover of “Backstreets.” Svavar Knutur brings “Night” into the

wonderful world of the uke, and Keith Met- zger does an excellent “She’s the One.” “Meet- ing Across the River” is uked by Albatross and Kai Welch closes out the tribute with a fine “Jungleland.” Besides being a fine musical statement,

Born to Uke serves a very admirable purpose as a fund raiser for Little Kids Rock, a non- profit that works to restore and expand music education in schools. As an interesting aside, the late Clarence Clemons, “the Big Man,” Springsteen’s onstage foil and always friend, was an early supporter of the organization. More information on them can be found on- line at Born to Uke is an outstanding album

full of heart. If I might suggest a sequel? How about taking the ukes to The River. I can hear it now.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

Springsteen on Broadway Bruce Springsteen (Columbia) Never in rock & roll

history has there been a production like Spring- steen on Broadway. I mean, I have been a

faithful follower of the Boss since 1975. I used to dream of seeing him live, and thanks to a friend, the dream came true in Greenville, SC a few years back. It was about a year before the crushing death of his pal on onstage part- ner, Clarence Clemmons, so I was blessed double by seeing the Big Man and the Boss together. When Bruce’s Broadway show de- buted on Netflix last week, I settled directly in front of the big screen with a blanket, a cold beer, and some microwave popcorn. I knew it was going to be good. I had no idea just how great it was going to be. One man, an acoustic guitar, a piano and a true gift for storytelling, mesmerized me and many millions of others as he pulled us right into his heart. He spoke of his often-abusive father,

his mother, his music, bandmates no longer with us and his love for his wife Patti, whom he brought out to sing backup on a pair of tracks.

Bruce is the hardest working man in

show bidness. In 2016, he toured a revival of his The River album to critical acclaim, and ended the year with his long-awaited autobi- ography Born to Run. In October 2017, he began a residency at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York, and it was a sure-fire hit, re- maining on Broadway until December 15, 2018 wrapping it all up with the Netflix film and this album. Wow. The show is filled with large doses of

emotion, his good humor, laughter and tears. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll crawl on your belly like a reptile! Well, maybe not that. For me, the show starts, both the video and


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