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Brian Fallon: The Gaslight Anthem Unplugs

KEXP's Morning Show now simulcasts on the dial at 91.5 FM in New York City, which means I split time between our studios in Seattle and Brooklyn. One of the major bonuses of this arrangement is my newfound ability to record in-studio sessions with artists touring in either city. For our very first New York session, we booked Brian Fallon, frontman for area band The Gaslight Anthem. Normally, the group performs as a quartet, as I've heard while playing the new album repeatedly on air, but for this session it would be just Fallon and a guitar. I was excited to hear how stripped-down versions of these rockers would sound live.

Fallon couldn't have been a better first in-studio guest. Not only did he give one of the best performances I've heard on the Morning Show all year, but he was also extremely open and honest in the interview. It's rare when an artist can open up and really talk about his own music, or what the songs are about. For Fallon, much of it relates to his time spent growing up. He calls it "abandoning adolescence," and between the band's debut release and the new album, he's found himself doing much more of that — both as a performer in a band and as a person.

It's easy to compare Fallon's sound, especially lyrically, to Bruce Springsteen. He's the first to admit it, but it's an influence and not a rip-off. Maybe it's something in the water in New Jersey, but the heart-on-the-sleeve, working-man's view of the world just seems to come naturally, and it's even more amplified in this personal acoustic performance.

Originally recorded Aug. 14, 2008.

Listen to the previous Favorite Session, or see our full archive.

Copyright 2008 KEXP

John Richards
John Richards is the host and producer of The Morning Show with John on 90.3 FM KEXP Seattle, and online at kexp.org. He is also KEXP's assistant program director.