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Album Review

Grushecky and his band had been a club fixture in the Northeast for nearly twenty years when they released American Babylon in 1995. The Pittsburgh band had proven themselves to be the consummate bar band with occasional flirtations with national success. American Babylon found them teaming up with Bruce Springsteen, who handles production, plays on several tracks, and wrote two songs for the album. One of the songs, the opening "Dark And Bloody Ground," is the strongest song on the album, both lyrically and musically. The song is a passionate tale of the plight of Native Americans and makes a serious impact. The title track is an uptempo rocker detailing the disintegration of societal mores. There's nothing new under the sun on American Babylon. There are plenty of songs outlining love gone wrong and the struggles of common folk, all delivered in Grushecky's warm, well-worn voice over a barroom mixture of blues-based traditional rock. However, delivered with such earnestness and spirit makes American Babylon a worthy contender and an enjoyable listen for fans of Mellencamp, Seger, and, especially, Springsteen.

Biography

Born: Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Much like Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band or Southside Johnny & the Asbury Dukes, Joe Grushecky & the Houserockers have been making American blue-collar bar rock that draws on classic R&B from the 1970s on. Unlike his New Jersey counterparts, however, Grushecky calls the Iron City of Pittsburgh home. He has also never received the accolades or attention of his New Jersey counterparts. The group, which first emerged as the Iron City Houserockers, released their debut, Love's...
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American Babylon, Joe Grushecky
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