Only a week to go until the concert, so here are some recent Bruce observations.
I've had a chance to listen to Devils & Dust several more times, in several different environments, and my subsequent impressions are better than my first one. The songs still run together in my mind, and I suspect this will rank about with Tom Joad in the future. As with all Bruce's albums, I'll withhold any further judgment until I've seen the songs in concert. The CD has a DVD on the flipside ... you can listen to the album in 5.1 surround while the lyrics show up on your teevee screen, and you can watch a 30-minute "documentary" of Bruce singing five of the songs in an unidentified room, with occasional comments. The film offers a nice preview of the solo tour, and the surround mix is very nice.
Meanwhile, Bruce showed up on VH1 Storytellers. The format of the show is frustrating ... most of the songs were interrupted with Bruce commenting on the writing of them, and while he had some interesting insights, when he broke a song down line-by-line it was a little excessive. There were two highlights, though. One came in the extended version shown on VH1 Classic: Bruce doing a Smokey Robinson imitation that wasn't very accurate but was quite winning in its flawed charm.
But the best moment came on a song Bruce sang with Patti. I wrote two years ago that we haven't seen Bruce sing any songs from Tunnel of Love since 1992, and that's still the case although we've seen him another three times since that blog post. Since Tunnel is one of my favorite Bruce albums, I'm saddened by the absence of those songs. Well, on Storytellers, he said that while "Brilliant Disguise" might seem sad, if you sing it with someone you love, the meaning changes ... and he introduced Patti, and they sang the song together, and damn it was nice to hear after all these years.