Last week we scoured a concert series poster from Stockholm and came up with a Stevie Ray Vaughn tribute singer/player covering Stevie Ray’s version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile” – a song that Jimi Hendrix himself played in Stockholm in 1969. This week, more covers by acts on this poster trace back to Bruce Springsteen in 1979.
Abalone Dots is a trio of three Swedish women who play bluegrass and country tunes. Last year in a TV performance, the band covered Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” from his 1980 album of the same name. Abalone Dots delivered an abbreviated version, but they sang the lyrics straight up: getting Mary pregnant, working construction and all. Bravo ladies! The band has been a quartet at times, and if you’d like to hear them get their bluegrass on, check out “The Ballad of Lee McKay”.
Believe it or not, another artist on this same poster covered “The River” on a TV show last year too! Micke Rickfors is The Boss’ contemporary, born in December 1948. Though mostly a solo artist throughout his career, Rickfors was a member of The Hollies in the early ’70’s, replacing their original lead singer Allan Clarke. After you watch Micke perform another abbreviated version of “The River”, you can check out his work with The Hollies on “Magic Woman Touch”.
It’s not clear why the Swedes have such affection for “The River”, but while the song never charted as a single in the U.S. it was the biggest hit up to that time for Bruce in both Sweden and Norway. Here is Bruce playing the whole song at the “No Nukes” concert in 1979, a few months before the album was released. The Swedes leave out the break with perhaps the best line in the song, “Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true, or is it something worse …”