USA Today has posted an online feature that purports to show what’s on Bruce’s iPod. I took a spin through today and here’s what I found:
1) Bruce likes variety–187 songs by 138 different artists. He doesn’t slap on whole albums, it’s clearly a variety assortment.
2) The tape loop/beat heavy album he recorded in the Streets of Philadelphia era is a distant memory–only 1 hip hop track, “Bridging The Gap” by Nas.
3) D-Y-L-A-N ! ! ! 6 songs by Bob himself; 2 songs by Bob w/ special guests (Mavis Staples and The Band), 1 song by Joan Baez w/ Bob accompanying and at least 2 cover versions of Bob by others (Rainy Day and Rod Stewart!).
4) Country, both old and new: Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich share space with Neko Case, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Jay Farrar, Joe Ely and Lucinda Williams.
5) Bruce is rockin’ a lot of classic gospel and blues: Clara Ward, Dixie Hummingbirds, Mahalia Jackson, Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers, Big Mama Thornton, Bukka White, John Lee Hooker, Mississippi John Hurt.
6) Friends, family and Bruce inspirations: Jesse Malin, Warren Zevon, Patti Scialfa, Sleater-Kinney (their cover of Promised Land) and Robert Mitchum (“The Ballad of Thunder Road”).
7) While there are a whole lot of bands I’ll have to Google to find out who they are and the music that they play, it seems that all the talk about his renewed interest in classic pop has ebbed with the recording and release of his album “Magic.” One Beach Boys tune (“Sloop John B.”) and one by Leonard Cohen is all I can find.
I hope to discover a bunch of good new music through this article. Bruce’s music has been extremely important to me, but articles about the music Bruce listens to himself has led me to several bands that I love, most notably Marah and The Hold Steady. This list is a treasure trove.
Also: I found another blog that prints out the entire list without the difficult navigation of the USA Today on-line graphic.