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Wilder Adkins Brings Springsteen's "I'm Going Down" to a Gentle Simmer (premiere)

Photo: Jeffrey Kintner

Alabama folk artist Wilder Adkins revitalizes a Springsteen classic with his acoustic rearrangement of "I'm Going Down".

Following a 2017 performance in dedication to Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA alongside Atlanta's ATL Collective, Wilder Adkins felt inspired. The Birmingham, Alabama-based folk artist found it a quandary to be in a place where he had retooled these covers to fit a new cast without having recorded them. So, he decided to fix that up posthaste, resulting in the documentation and subsequent release of his own take on "I'm Going Down" for a midsummer's treat.

Springsteen's exuberant delivery is pared down into an acoustic reworking with subtle, guitar-driven melodies meeting a steady-handed percussion. Between appearances of a soft-spoken, warm-spirited saxophone, Adkins' gentle twang inhabits the song just as well as its original artist did with his heartier performance. The folksier approach Adkins takes, though, lends itself perhaps more philosophically to the idea of the smoldering fires of a long-standing romance. All in all, it's a notable re-arrangement of a Springsteen classic made all the more impressive by the clear showing of heart that Adkins imbues into it.

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