Face The Promise | Bob Seger
While we were asleep at the handlebars, Bob Seger-quietly it seems-released a new album...four years ago. Maybe this says something about the promotion machine behind the album, or maybe we were just left off the list the first time around. No matter, because listening to Mr. Seger is like getting reacquainted with an old familiar friend. On Face the Promise Bob's hair may be greyer, but his voice shows no sign of aging. And while he may not be singing about night moves or Hollywood nights, the subject matter nonetheless remains relevant-at least to this decidedly older audience member.
Bob re-visits the common themes of life, love, the highway, suspended dreams, and things that matter. Oh, and drinking too. All fine by me. A little rock 'n' roll maturity never hurt anyone and besides, Bob never dressed in spandex. Intentional or not, over the years Bob has given us some great biker anthems, "Roll Me Away," "Travelling Man," and "Against the Wind" to name a few. And all provide good background music for a ride. This time around, Bob serves up another classic for the open road in "Wait for Me:"
I will answer the wind
I will leave with the tide
I'll be out on the road
Every chance I can ride...
Recorded in Nashville, there's tinges of modern country; even a guest appearance by Patty Loveless. And a neat surprise awaits in a duet with fellow Michigander Kid Rock on Vince Gill's "Real Mean Bottle." Seger belongs to that holy triumvirate of modern American working class rock heroes, along with Springsteen and John Mellencamp. They write songs that are relevant to us as regular Joes that just happen to ride. Too bad we can't get all of these guys on stage together-now that would be a ticket! Let's all hope Bob will return to the road one more time. Or at least keep dropping albums, if only occasionally.
Flashback Of The Month
Easy Rider Soundtrack Deluxe Edition | Various Artists
By now, it's been pretty much established that the movie Easy Rider is to bikers what Endless Summer is to surfers. The movie has become part of modern pop culture and is practically begging for an updated remake (hello Hollywood, are you listening?). And we can all rest easy knowing that one of biker nations' first counter-culture heroes, Peter Fonda, is actually a decent guy and shares a passion for motorcycles. He may not ride Captain America, but at least he rides.
So it's no surprise that a few years ago some enterprising marketing person thought it would be a good idea to expand the original movie soundtrack by some 19 songs; nearly tripling the total song count. Nevermind that the additional 19 songs have nothing to do with the original movie. Classic Rock excess? Hardly. The added tracks by Jefferson Airplane, The Who, Procol Harum, Blue Cheer, and others provides a backwards glimpse at the turbulent times of 1967-69. Plus, we finally get The Band's "The Weight" which was in the original movie but left off the soundtrack album due to contractual reasons. Marketing exercise or not, it's a pretty cool idea.
However, thanks to the iPod, one can, in theory, create his or her own Easy Rider soundtrack without having to worry about artist clearance issues. We'd add The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, and Santana to the mix. But this CD set also includes some great time-warp nuggets-stuff you may not think of when creating your own. For example, there's "Mendocino" by the Sir Douglas Quintet, "My Uncle" by the Flying Burrito Brothers, and The Seeds' "Pushing Too Hard." If nothing else, this makes for another cool birthday idea for the biker in the family.