With New York’s Jesse Malin returning to town, Getintothis’ Alan O’Hare takes a bite of the big apple and tastes Bruce Springsteen, Lou Reed and The Replacements.
It wasn’t always like this. Pre-Millennium, The Rising and Glastonbury 2009, Bruce Springsteen wasn’t cool. He was about as far away from hip as a shave is today.
Not now, though. These days you can’t throw a Fender Telecaster without hitting a US indie band who are influenced by The Boss: The Killers, The Gaslight Anthem, The Hold Steady, Jason Isbell, Vampire Weekend… the list goes on.
Jesse Malin was probably the first to come out, though. Although the New Yorker started out as frontman with hardcore rioters D-Generation, a friendship with Ryan Adams changed all that. Malin was reborn as a modern day troubadour and wore the Springsteen influences on his (cut off denim) sleeves to prove it.
2007’s Glitter In The Gutter, Malin’s third solo album, even featured a duet with Springsteen, as they traded gruff vocals on bittersweet ballad, Broken Radio. In truth, Malin’s abrasive style is more The Replacements than the E Street Band – but his live shows hit all the sweet spots that Springsteen sets up.
He’s back in Liverpool (Malin’s tour schedules always seem to include us) in December and it’s a gig that comes recommended – especially as the singer enjoys a special relationship with Europe, following decisions to release his records here before the US.
“When I meet people, the biggest thing – more than payment, more than posters, more than records in the shops – is having someone come up to you and say they got something out of the lyrics of a song. It’s priceless… because, often, that same person is listening to Lou Reed, Springsteen, Dylan, Wilco, The Replacements or The Clash and those are all bands which have changed my life.” – Malin.
Jesse Malin plays The Kazimier on 3 December.