Steven Van Zandt Unplugged and Totally Uncut
Finally, a return to the type of music Springsteen used to make, done by the E Street Band’s guitarist. Van Zandt has always been a top-notch songwriter and this album exemplifies his craft. The first two solo records he made with the Disciples of Soul back in the 80’s were quite good. The only thing most people had to overlook was his voice, which was usually nasally and not always clear. It surprised me how much Steve’s voice has improved on his latest release. In fact, he sounds a lot like Southside Johnny on many tracks, which is a positive thing. I would have given Soul Fire five stars, but the 4 songs which were previously recorded by Southside Johnny and already known to most prevented me from doing so.
My favorite tracks are: I Saw the Light, Standing in the Line of Fire, Blues is My Business, Soul Fire, and Saint Valentine’s Day. Hopefully, after Springsteen hears this record from his pal he will also put out something as strong as this since his last worthwhile album was Magic.