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Bob Seger: Living up to his "promise"

2006?s "Face The Promise," Bob Seger?s 19th album and his first new studio album in 11 years, is a confident and impressive return to form that ranks among the artist?s best work. Mining a winning swath of rock, blues, country and funk, the album is an extraordinary 12-song cycle. The again demonstrates that Seger?s gifts as a top-rate songwriter are undiminished. And proving there?s some fire left in this 60-something, Seger also hit the road for his first national tour in over a decade. During a wide-ranging conversation with "Goldmine," Seger shows he is still a natural storyteller whose hearty, contagious laughter peppers his compelling tales of over 40 years of life in the rock and roll trenches.

"How will I be remembered, will my critics be unkind,? reflects Bob Seger in the introspective lyrics that frame ?The Answer?s In The Question,? a song culled from his latest CD, Face The Promise.

Bob Seger clearly has nothing to worry about. At age 61, Bob Seger?s track record speaks for itself. A 2004 inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, Seger is celebrated as one of classic rock?s most talented and successful elder musical statesman. A remarkably gifted songwriter, Seger?s work is beyond reproach. This man?s string of hits, from ?Beautiful Loser? to ?Night Moves? to ?Old Time Rock ?N? Roll,? reads like the ultimate classic rock jukebox.

Blessed with a soulful, whiskey-flavored voice, Bob Seger?s songs spin like little movies, full of sweeping cinemascope vistas and colorful small town characters that came alive in the grooves. A consummate storyteller, Seger?s music resounds with authenticity, weaving all the signposts of Americana into a sizzling musical stew. His impeccably crafted songs embody a decidedly American slant, drawing together weighty blue-collar struggles, ambitions, frustrations, hopes, heartbreak and dreams of the everyman.

A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Bob Seger has been kickin? out the jams in the Motor City since the early 1960s with such outfits as The Decibels, The Town Criers and The Omens. May of 1966 saw the release of Bob Seger and The Last Heard?s first single, the local hit, ?East Side Story? on Hideout Records. Signing to Capitol Records in 1967, Seger?s anti-Vietnam anthem, ?2+2= ??, failed to make a ripple except in his hometown of Detroit. Slowly building a reputation for his incendiary live shows, Seger?s became a rising star grew through the heartland bolstered by the # 17 placing of ?Ramblin? Gamblin? Man? (also the name of his debut album) and modest regional hits, ?Ivory,? ?Lucifer? and ?Heavy Music.? Forget James Brown. Bob Seger was the hardest-working man in show biz, routinely undertaking a punishing tour slate of over 250 dates a year. A succession of albums, Noah, Mongrel, Brand New Morning, Smokin? O.P.?s, Back in ?72 and Seven attracted little national interest, but Seger wasn?t about to pack it in. He forged on, unrelenting in his burning drive to make it at whatever cost and