Bruce the Guitarist

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Posted by Chris Hager on 04/26/02 - 12:12:57
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When Bruce was quite young, he was considered the guitarist to beat among the up-and-comers in his neck of the woods.  By his own admission, he decided around the time of Born to Run to concentrate more on songwriting, because there were plenty of hot guitarists around, and he has expressed in interviews, from time to time, that he regrets not keeping his guitar chops more in shape.  Nevertheless, Springsteen, while not a virtuoso, can be a formidable guitar presence, with his strangled lead tones lending a tremendous urgency to his solo playing.  He has joked that E-Streeter Nils Lofgrin, who really IS a fine player, "allows" Bruce to play guitar in his own band, but Lofgrin has nothing but good to say about Springsteen's playing, and it's not because Bruce is his Boss.  The acoustic 12-string slide guitar that Springsteen plays in his current live version of Born in the USA is, IMO, nothing short of brilliant.  A clever musician can use style, taste, and imagination to make up for what he/she lacks in virtuosity.   CWH

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