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'Eden' shows Grushecky's heart

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Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

‘Somewhere East of Eden'

Joe Grushecky (Warner Nashville)

Joe Grushecky could be a character in a song by his pal Bruce Springsteen — a working-class family man juggling dreams and responsibilities. The Pittsburgh rocker (and special-ed teacher) has long written from that perspective himself, and on “Somewhere East of Eden” he does so with as much heart and plain-spoken eloquence as ever. “I Can Hear the Devil Knocking” is a snarling rocker that opens the album with a blast of anger and frustration. “Who Cares About Those Kids” portrays the heartbreaking results of neglect, while the title song follows a veteran haunted by his time in Iraq. Not that Grushecky is a one-trick pony. He has some fun with his age in the lighthearted, bluesy “I Still Look Good (for Sixty),” and he presents a romantic saga of cinematic sweep with the Latin-flavor “When Castro Came Down From the Hills.” Two non-originals highlight his range and power as a singer: an a cappella “John the Revelator” steeped in gospel grit, and a hushed, tender “Save the Last Dance for Me.”

— The Philadelphia Inquirer

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