Springsteen’s “Nebraska” is a far cry from the more commercially engaging follow-up “Born in the U.S.A.” It’s a 4-track DIY stark study of rust-belt existential ennui some consider (I count myself as one) as his most personal work.
The title cut is a particularly dark tale of adolescent alienation as Springsteen employs acoustic guitar and harmonica to plumb for some glimmer of humanity surviving within the infamous Charles Starkweather, who at 19 went on a murder spree with his 14-year-old girlfriend Caril Fugate. In all the couple killed 11 people across Nebraska. This captured the attention of the nation and reflected it’s unease of the new rebellious rock music sweeping youth culture in 1958.
Though it breaks no new sonic ground Aoife O’Donovan’s rendition carries that very same somber beauty with her forlorn soprano and gently picked acoustic guitar.
The track will be featured on “In The Magic Hour Solo Sessions,” a six-song acoustic EP out November 1 which will include four songs O’Donovan latest “from In The Magic Hour” and a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Turn Me On
Of the work O’Donovan’ said “In 2011, I did a residency at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, says Aoife. “Each week was a different set, and while planning for the month, I decided to learn the album “Nebraska” from start to finish. Originally released in 1982, the year I was born, the songs are timeless. The sadness and depravity in the title track urge us to look a little bit deeper into ourselves. “I guess there’s just a meanness in this world.”
This Friday, October 4, Aoife will perform at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, singing on MPR’s Live From Here and performing with Kronos Quartet.
Aoife will embark on the Songs and Strings Tour in spring 2020, performing with a string quartet featuring Jeremy Kittlel on violin – a full list of dates is below. As the first Artist-in-Residence at this year’s FreshGrass Festival, Aoife performed with two different string quartets.
AOIFE O’DONOVAN SONG AND STRINGS TOUR
March 11 – Old Saybrook, CT – Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
March 12 – Cambridge, MA – Sanders Theatre
March 13 – Vienna, VA – The Barns at Wolf Trap
March 14 – Richmond, VA – Modlin Center For the Arts
March 20 – Stoughton, WI – Stoughton Opera House
March 21 – Skokie, IL – North Shore Center For the Performing Arts
April 16 – Carrboro, NC – The Arts Center
April 17 – Paducah, KY – Clemens Fine Arts Center