Bruce Springsteen: New Record ‘Coming Soon’

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Springsteen, during his Woody Guthrie Prize performance

Bruce Springsteen slyly revealed a new album at a virtual concert performance presented last night (May 13, 2021). The occasion marked his honor as the latest recipient of the Woody Guthrie Prize.

In an hour-long taped presentation for Guthrie Center members from his home in Colts Neck, NJ, Springsteen told interviewer Bob Santelli, “California was an enormous influence on some of my most topical writing, through my ’90s, through 2000s, and even now, on a record coming out soon that’s set largely in the West. I got very involved in telling those Western stories through my work.”

Springsteen later played four songs at the event: Guthrie’s “Tom Joad” and “Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos),” plus his own “Across the Border” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad.” Watch the performance below.

His longtime bandmate, Steve Van Zandt, expects the E Street Band to tour again in 2022. In an interview on May 17 with Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa on their “Talking Sopranos” podcast and reported by Philly Voice, he was asked when the group would return to the road.

“I think probably 2022,” he said. “That’s what it feels like right now. 2021 is still a little up in the air with this new [Covid-19] South African variant. It’s a little hard to predict what the hell is going to happen here. So I think 2022, I hope, is a safer bet.”

Over 20 studio albums, Springsteen, who will turn 72 on Sept. 23, has used his storytelling ability to write songs that connect with people who faced the hard times and celebrated the good times. Often backed by the E Street Band, Springsteen’s music provides a soundtrack of resilience, strength, heart, and joy despite or even in spite of the struggles thrown our way. Drawing from his experiences growing up in New Jersey, Springsteen’s songs have connected on a universal level with fans worldwide. And those who have seen Springsteen perform live have seen his sweat, drive, and dedication to music and to his fans.

“I’m honored to receive the 2021 Woody Guthrie Prize,” Springsteen said. “Woody wrote some of the greatest songs about America’s struggle to live up its ideals in convincing fashion. He is one of my most important influences and inspirations.”

Watch Springsteen’s performance

Springsteen frequently discusses how Guthrie’s work inspired his own music. He performs Guthrie songs regularly, including “This Land is Your Land” with fellow Prize recipient Pete Seeger before the Presidential inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009. Springsteen has sold 120 million records worldwide, has earned 20 GRAMMY Awards, an Oscar and a Tony Award, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, received the Kennedy Center Honors 10 years later and in 2016, was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Woody Guthrie Prize is given to an artist of any medium who continues in the footsteps of Guthrie, a champion for the voiceless with an understanding of how a platform can be used to shine a light on our world, showing us what needs to be fixed and how to fix it. Past recipients of the award include Joan Baez, Chuck D, John Mellencamp, Norman Lear, Kris Kristofferson, Mavis Staples, and Seeger.

The Woody Guthrie Center opened in 2013 in Tulsa, Okla., to preserves his legacy. It presents the social, political, and cultural values found in his vast body of work through curated exhibits, programs, and outreach. The Bob Dylan Center opens nearby in 2022.

Related: When Springsteen broke his own marathon concert record

“We’ve been hoping that Bruce would join our extended family – which includes the spirit sons and daughters of Woody, Pete Seeger and Lead Belly – as we gather this year to say “thank you for caring and for speaking out.” Welcome, brother!” said Nora Guthrie, president of Woody Guthrie Publications and Woody’s daughter.

Related: Listings for 100s of classic rock tours

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