The Bruce Springsteen Timeline

April 25 2006

Just as everybody was expecting new E Street Band activity, Bruce surprises everyone by releasing an album recorded over three days with nothing but old folk songs that Pete Seeger made famous. The Seeger Sessions as the album is called, divides the fans, but receives generally good reviews.

April 2006

The Seeger Sessions Tour kicks off with four rehearsal shows in Asbury Park. The band consists of no fewer than 17 people, including Patti Scialfa and Soozie Tyrell, along with a host of more or less unknown musicians who played on the album.

April 30 2006

The first official show of the tour is a stop at New Orleans Jazz Festival and one of the most emotional. It is marked by Hurricane Katrina's devastating impact on the city, with Bruce making several comments, as well as playing Alfred Reed's "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?" with three new verses written by himself about the New Orleans floods.

May 2006

The Seeger Sessions Tour travels Europe. The show mostly consists of songs from the album, but a few of Bruce's own songs have been included, but not without dramatic rearrangements.

June 2006

Bruce & the Sessions Band, as they are now called, tour the United States throughout June. At only 18 shows plus the initial shows in Asbury Park and New Orleans, this is the shortest North American Tour Bruce has done. Many of the venues are only half full and many hardcore fans sit it out, not wanting to have anything to do with this type of music.

October 1 2006

Despite rumors to the contrary, no more shows are announced for the US. Instead the Sessions Tour resumes in Bologna, Italy.

October 3 2006

An expanded version of the Seeger Sessions album is released. It contains, among other things, a live version of a brand new song that was debuted at Madison Square Garden and opened the last three shows of the tour. The song is called "American Land" and will close most of the European shows.

October-November 2006

The European tour continues and ends with a show in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Before that, the band plays three shows in Dublin that are filmed for future release. Overall, the European tour has a lot better attendance than its American counterpart, with European audiences showing a much greater appreciation of the folk classics that dominate the setlist, although more and more of Bruce's own songs make it to the setlist in sometimes radically different arrangements.