Talking Bruce Springsteen

Today at 4 pm I'll be the Guest DJ on SiriusXM's E Street Radio, talking about Bruce Springsteen and playing ten of my favorite songs of his. I am inspired by Bruce's music.  From the beginning I was captivated by his passion for storytelling, the way he focuses in on the places and people he loves most, the issues he cares about, the underdog and the downtrodden, people's stories that otherwise might not be heard.  He's been a voice for migrants, the deeply human story of immigration, and that touches me so much.  I love his song Matamoros Banks, which he introduces with these words:

"Each year many die crossing the deserts, mountains, and rivers of our southern border in search of a better life. Here I follow the journey backwards, from the body at the river bottom, to the man walking across the desert towards the banks of the Rio Grande."

There is so much to say, and I make a start during my hour on E Street.  I hope you'll join me.

the songs:

~matamoros banks live from devils and dust tour, along with bruce's psa about immigration.

~land of hopes and dreams (from live in nyc)

~ghost of tom joad (acoustic)

~my city of ruins from the concert for new york city after 9/11

~born to run

~incident on 57th st from the june 22 2000 show including bruce's psa for new york cares.

~youngstown

~badlands from the october 1, 2004 vfc concert in philadelphia

~if i should fall behind (live in nyc)

~the river, if enough time the live version with bruce's intro from live/75-85

Music from THE LEMON ORCHARD

191234efe0867a69c2540dd5329160fa

AmazonAppleBarnes & Noble IndieBound

While writing THE LEMON ORCHARD I listened to music that inspired me.  These are songs of love, travel, connection, family, and crossing borders.  Because the music meant so much to me and the characters I was creating, I wove the songs into the novel.  They are songs of America, Mexico, and Ireland, by artists I have loved forever and others that were new to me.

I was introduced to some of the music by the man who inspired the character of Roberto.  He comes from a small town outside Puebla, Mexico, and now he lives in East LA. The story between Roberto and Julia is passionate, and the music is the soundtrack to their love.

Because I wanted you to hear the songs, I put them together in a Spotify playlist.  My own musical taste goes like this: if the song makes me feel something, goes into my heart, I'm there.  I react to music with emotion--it makes me feel, remember, ache.  Because this playlist says a lot about the novel, and because I wanted it to express my family's Irish roots and "Roberto's" Mexican roots, and because I wanted to include songs about immigration--ones I might not have heard before--I asked my friends Mark Lonergan and Becky Murray for suggestions.

Music and friendship are deeply linked.  I've included two songs by my friend Garland Jeffreys.  Becky and Mark both gave me excellent ideas--Mark, also my guitar teacher, introduced me to Tim O'Brien's music a while back--we went to see him perform at NYC's The Cutting Room back when it was in Chelsea and owned by Chris Noth.  I think it's still owned by Chris Noth. Becky and her husband Ed suggested songs by Lady Gaga and Billy Walker.  Those artists are on the playlist along with Bruce Springsteen, Lila Downs, Ry Cooder, Los Tigres Del Norte, Tom Morello, Alison Moorer, Juan Gabriel, The Chieftains, Lola Beltrán, Luis Miguel, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, and others.

Thanks to Winnie De Moya of Viking Penguin for posting my Spotify playlist to my Pinterest The Lemon Orchard board.

The Lemon Orchard

In the five years since Julia last visited her aunt and uncle’s home in Malibu, her life has been turned upside down by her daughter’s death. She expects to find nothing more than peace and solitude as she house-sits with only her dog, Bonnie, for company. But she finds herself drawn to the handsome man who oversees the lemon orchard. Roberto expertly tends the trees, using the money to support his extended Mexican family. What connection could these two people share? 

Read More