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April 04, 2023

Bruce Springsteen featured on Lucinda Williams' first album since stroke

The Boss and his wife, Patty Scialfa, play on the rock song 'New York Comeback'

At 73 years old, Bruce Springsteen seems to be just as busy and productive as he's ever been. His continuous output is a gift that fans of any multigenerational star shouldn't take for granted. 

The Boss is currently in Europe as he and the E Street Band continue the world tour that stopped in Philadelphia last month, with two additional dates scheduled at Citizens Bank Park in August. This is the band's first tour since 2017, but Springsteen has put out three albums since that time — his solo "Western Stars," "Letter to You" with the E Street Band and the covers album, "Only the Strong Survive." 

As strong as Springsteen is in the spotlight of his own projects, there's always something special about his collaborations with other artists. They're reminders of how much life he can breathe into songs and how smoothly he can compliment the strengths of those around him. Case in point — last year's collaboration with John Mellencamp.

On Tuesday, singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams announced her upcoming album, "Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart," which will be her first since she suffered a stroke in 2020. Williams, always known as a deft guitar player, largely lost her ability to play the instrument and had to reimagine her songwriting process from the ground up while making her recovery. She resumed touring less than a year after the stroke, calling it "the No. 1 healing thing that I’ve done" in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 

For the new album, Williams turned to a bevy of artists for help — including Angel Olson, Tommy Stinson, and none other than The Boss and Patty Scialfa. 

Williams, 70, chose to lead the album cycle with Springsteen and Scialfa's backing vocals on "New York Comeback." It's a pretty straightforward rock song with a refrain has a bit of a "Manic Monday" vibe. Few artists have a more powerful knack for placemaking than Springsteen. The song's wistful reflections on the ebbs and flows of a career in entertainment evoke the larger-than-life summit of being on stage in New York City.

"Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart" features additional guests Margo Price, Jeremy Ivey, Buddy Miller and Jesse Malin. The follow-up to 2020's "Good Souls Better Angels" figures to bring new shades to Williams' Americana roots, aided by a big supportive cast.

Williams' memoir, "Don't Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You," will be released April 25. The new album is out June 30.