Whether they’re cover songs or tracks that have been scooped up off an album’s cutting-room floor, B-sides are a great way to get to know your favorite bands even better. And you don’t have to be a vinyl collector to get in on the fun! Look, I’ll prove it to you! My current bout with B-side fever started on May 23, when Justin Townes Earle released the digital Christchurch Woman single. Its B-side is a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Racing in the Streets,” a tune JTE played as the closer of his recent show at the Camel in Richmond. The cover first appeared on a limited-edition Record Store Day 7″, and since I didn’t manage to get my hands on a copy, I was elated when I learned it was available on iTunes. I have to confess, I’m a HUGE fan of Springsteen covers. I didn’t grow up listening to the Boss, and have never been able to jump into his catalog with both feet. For whatever reason, I need to hear his songs through the prism of another band’s style for the original versions to come into focus. In exactly this way, JTE’s version of “Racing in the Streets” has given me another Springsteen song to love. The recording is sparse, just vocals and acoustic guitar, but JTE’s mastery of dynamics is what makes the cover really shine. Have a listen below, and run to iTunes to download the two-song single. And if you don’t already own it, for the love of all that’s holy, get his most recent album Harlem River Blues. Srsly.
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