Two pieces of news to report which have raised my spirits in the last couple of days.
First off - Columbia Records are to release a new Bruce Springsteen album, Devils and Dust on the 26th April (presumably that would mean a 25th April release date in the UK). This album is appearing much earlier than expected, with all the recent chatter being just rumours based on some sessions Sprinsteen made last year at Brendan O'Brien's studio. Anyway, the news is now 100% official, and it would appear that the album marks a return to the more acoustic, folk-tinged territory of 'Nebraska' and 'The Ghost Of Tom Joad', which is absolutely fine with me, and will make a very interesting contrast to the gospel-inspired uplift of The Rising. Springsteen has apparently revisited some of the songs performed on his last acoustic tour ten years ago, but which didn't make the final cut for 'The Ghost Of Tom Joad' . What is even more exciting is that Sprinsteen is planning to tour again for the album, either with a small band, or solo and acoustic, playing shows in Europe as well as the US, and targeting theatres and small venues. Getting a ticket may well involve bribery or murder - but it will be absolutely essential.
Secondly, on a smaller scale - but no less exciting, some more news has finally emerged regarding the new Teenage Fanclub album. It's still not entirely clear which label will be putting it out, but it has a title ('Man Made') and is now planned for a spring release, which makes for a twelve month delay between the completion of recording in Chicago and the appearance of a finished product, which must have been frustrating for the band as well as the fans. Let's hope it gets some publicity (some newspaper reports in Scotland regarding their appearance at the Glasgow SECC Tsunami benefit gig and Norman Blake's recent chat on 6Music are some small but encouraging signs) and that the band play a few shows in support of it.
Some more reviews will appear over the weekend....