Joe Grushecky | Somewhere East Of Eden – CD Review

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For decades, Joe Grushecky has played and recorded both solo and early on as a member of the Iron City Houserockers and has even co-wrote songs with Bruce Springsteen, who produced and played on Grushecky’s 1995’s American Babylon and did a stint as a surprise touring guitarist with the band. Somewhere East Of Eden, his 17th solo album, reveals the man is at the top of his game.

A loud and solid rockabilly slide guitar work-out comprises “I Can Hear The Devil Knocking,” which opens the record, followed by “Who Cares About Those Kids,” a song with an infectious chorus. The title track, lyrically a little too trite for my tastes, moves with a catchy chorus. I like the piano and salsa rhythm of the hand claps on “When Castro Came Down from the Hills,” the most interesting tune here, complete with a very cool horn solo and Grushecky’s effective vocal.

“Magnolia” is another really good one with piano and organ on what might be the most Springsteen-sounding song on the record, with a really sparkling high-end chorus, an excellent vocal from Grushecky, and those big bad drums that make this CD so infectious.

For what it lacks lyrically, “Changing Of The Guard” makes up with the guitars, the slow bridges and the trebly bass work. A sweet and sardonic (not an easy combination to manage) “First Day of School” with only Grushecky on acoustic ends Somewhere East of Eden.

Grushecky says of Somewhere East of Eden: “I wanted to write about my life right now, about a man who is getting older and lives and works in a community where people struggle daily and nothing is ever guaranteed. I wanted to write about the kids who are often neglected and the veterans who are often forgotten. I wanted to write about my life as a teacher and about the future that we are handing to our children. And I wanted to write about going out on a Friday night, plugging in a guitar, and turning it up to ten!” I think this stalwart singer/songwriter accomplishes this with aplomb.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.


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