Bruce Springsteen Plays First ‘Electric’ Set in Four Years During Steve Earle-Hosted Charity Concert

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen led an all-star cast of performances during the annual John Henry’s Benefit concert in New York City.

The fundraising event, out together by Earle and City Winery, helped raise funds for The Keswell School in New York City, an educational program aiding children and young adults with autism.

Opening the night, Bruce Springsteen, his Telecaster in tow, borrowed Earle’s Dukes for a four-song set, including “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The Promised Land,” and Born in the U.S.A. hit “Glory Days,” featuring Nile on guitar and backing vocals, before launching into his 1984 b-side “Pink Cadillac” with Earle splitting vocals with The Boss.

The show marked the first time Springsteen has performed with an electric guitar since The River tour, with the E Street Band, which ran from 2016 through 2017 in support of Springsteen’s 2015 The Ties That Bind: The River Collection box set and the 35th anniversary of Springsteen’s 1980 album The River.

Throughout the evening, Earle brought out other special guests, including Rosanne Cash, Willie Nile, The Mastersons, and Matt Savage, who all performed individual sets. Earle & The Dukes also performed, performing “Guitar Town,” “Copperhead Road,” “Someday,” and “The Galway Girl” in addition to the newer song “If I Could See Your Face Again,” off his 20th album featuring The Dukes, Ghosts of West Virginia (2020). The band closed their set with their rendition of Justin Townes Earle’s “Harlem River Blues.”

Later on, Springsteen joined Steve Earle & The Dukes and the rest of the lineup onstage for a cover of Crosby, Stills & Nash’s “Teach Your Children Well” to close the night.

The concert helped raise more than $100,000 for the Keswell school.

Photos: Bruce Springsteen / Danny Clinch; Steve Earle / Shervin Lainez

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