Conor Oberst Gives Old Songs New Life at ACL Live This Friday

With his newest album, Salutations, Conor Oberst finished what he started. The songs on last year’s Ruminations, written and recorded solo, were always intended to be fully arranged works played with a band, a goal finally realized on Salutations, which reinterprets those previous songs and adds several more for an expanded track list. While the former album allowed Oberst to showcase his songwriting prowess and emphasize the intimacy of the songs’ lyrical content, Salutations provides new energy and life with its arrangements, ultimately delivering both the songwriting and musical talent long time Oberst fans expect.

Although I always thought comparing Oberst at a young age to Dylan seemed premature if not entirely inapt, Oberst’s productivity does mirror great songwriters like Dylan or Neil Young. He’s the kind of artist who seems born to write without ceasing. And I now have to admit that Oberst’s increasingly mature approach to songwriting and arranging does recall Dylan’s excellent midsection of albums that arrived in the 70s with an added edge of contemporary ennui and medicated depression. Understandable in this political climate — a topic which Oberst, unlike trendy folk pop acts, frequents, in keeping with the traditions of a true folk songwriter.

Oberst plays ACL Live this Friday, and will be supported by excellent opening act Julien Baker. We highly recommend arriving early. Purchase tickets here while they’re still available, and check out music by both Oberst and Julien Baker below.

About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.

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