Though there is no release date for his new, still untitled album, Bob Seger debuted a new song online this week, ahead of tour dates later this month (Cincy, Cleveland, Chicago were already announced, and an Indianapolis date at Conseco Fieldhouse was just added for May 7).
The new song, "Downtown Train", is the same one that Rod Stewart rode to a hit in the late 80s. Seger actually recorded the Tom Waits-penned tune in 1989, only to pull it from a potential release when Stewart had a hit with his version.
No stranger to Waits' music, Seger previously released covers written by the soon-to-be Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer, recording “New Coat of Paint” for 1991's The Fire Inside and and “16 Shells From a Thirty-Ought Six” for 1995's It's A Mystery album.
If you can get past the whiskey-voiced similarities of Stewart and Seger, the new version has more soul, less anthemic bombast. Stewart's only grit comes from the sandpaper vocals of raspy Rod.
Here's what longtime Detroit music critic Gary Graff says::
" ...captures the song’s inherent melodic drama. Swelling chorus, dressed up with rich female backing vocals and a three-note guitar lick that leads into a solo in the song’s midsection...still sounds like the “Downtown Train” the world knows and loves — primarily from Stewart’s version — but has a richness and oomph that makes it Seger’s own."
The song? It sounds like Seger, which is a great thing. Take a listen here.