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Springsteen produced Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers' “American Babylon” 25th Anniversary edition out this fall

Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers’ “American Babylon” expanded 25th anniversary edition out this fall from Cleveland International Records, the original Bruce Springsteen produced studio album, augmented with bonus demo tracks plus full-length live recording
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This fall will see Cleveland International Records start to issue a slate of archive album releases that underscore the iconoclastic label’s rich and eclectic heritage. A very special expanded 25th anniversary edition of Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers’ American Babylon is set for digital and streaming release on October 29, with a vinyl LP set to follow early in 2022. Long a fixture on the Pittsburgh music scene, originally fronting The Iron City Houserockers, Grushecky is the son of a coal miner whose “day job” is in special education. He has become a legend among Heartland rockers. His loyal following is a testimony to his down-to-earth approach and honesty as a songwriter, band leader and performer since the 1970s.

Pre-order/Pre-save American Babylon 25th Anniversary Edition

American Babylon, first issued in 1995, was produced by Bruce Springsteen whose friendship with Grushecky predates the album’s sessions and has endured in the intervening decades. The new American Babylon 2 CD set offers 27 tracks including the album’s original 12 selections among which are “Chain Smokin’,” “Only Lovers Left Alive,” “What Did You Do in The War” as well as “Homestead” and “Dark and Bloody Ground,” the latter two co-written with Springsteen. Original demo recordings of “Chain Smokin’,” "Never Be Enough Time” and “Only Lovers Left Alive,” never previously released, round out the first disc. A 13-track companion disc documents live performances recorded at Nick’s Fat City in Pittsburgh during The Houserockers’ legendary “October Assault” tour that launched the album that month in 1995. Joe and the band performed not only in Grushecky’s hometown but also in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and Asbury Park. Springsteen is heard on eight of the album’s tracks and his voice is heard on “Light of Day,” his own song, as well as on their version of Chuck Berry’s “Down the Road Apiece,” the album’s closer. One track featured on the live disc that is not part of the American Babylon tune stack is “Pumping Iron,” a fan favorite from The Iron City Houserockers’ 1980 Steve Popovich co-produced Have A Good Time but Get Out Alive album

On the topic of collaborative songwriting, Grushecky commented, “It’s a great thing for me to write with a talent like Bruce who is obviously one of the greats. I think that in a quiet way it sort of says something about my writing ability.” The collaboration was not pre-planned and came about quite organically. Joe recalled, “I was thinking about making a new record and had a couple songs written. My wife suggested ‘Why don’t you ask Bruce to play?’ I hemmed and hawed for a while and finally we got in touch. It just took on a life of its own. It was fun working with Bruce. He added little twists and turns that I wouldn’t have come up with on my own, which made the record a lot of fun to do musically. Once we got together, it just seemed like we were very sure of what we were doing. There wasn’t a lot of second guessing and pulling your hair thinking, ‘Is this good?’ We just sort of went in and did it in a very relaxed atmosphere, so it was fun.”

The 25thanniversary edition of American Babylon was preceded by the August 27 release of the live version of the title song “American Babylon” as well as the demo for “Only Lovers Left Alive.”

Stream/download “American Babylon” (live) and “Only Lovers Left Alive" (demo) now at

Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers American Babylon 25thAnniversary Edition track list

Disc 1

1. Dark and Bloody Ground

2. Chain Smokin’

3. Never Be Enough Time

4. American Babylon

5. Labor of Love

6. What Did You Do in the War

7. Homestead

8. Comin’ Down Maria

9. Talk Show

10. No Strings Attached

11. Billy’s Waltz

12. Only Lovers Left Alive

Bonus tracks:

13. Chain Smokin’ / demo

14. Never Be Enough Time / demo

15. Only Lovers Left Alive / demo

Disc 2 (Recorded Live at Nick’s Fat City, Pittsburgh, PA October 1995)

1. No Strings Attached

2. Only Lovers Left Alive

3. Bruce Springsteen Intro

4. What Did You Do in The War *

5. Chain Smokin’ *

6. Labor of Love *

7. Never Enough *

8. Dark and Bloody Ground *

9. Pumping Iron *

10. Homestead *

11. American Babylon *

12. Light of Day feat. Bruce Springsteen

13. Down the Road Apiece feat. Bruce Springsteen

* Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers with Bruce Springsteen

Cleveland International Records logo - Brian Chalmers

About Cleveland International Records

Launched in 1977 by record mogul and beloved music industry executive Steve Popovich, the label's first single release was “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” by Ronnie Spector and The E Street Band. Shortly thereafter, Popovich signed an unknown singer named Meat Loaf whose Bat Out of Hell album, with all songs written by Jim Steinman, would go on to become one of the top selling records in history. The label’s catalog has sold in excess of 50 million albums worldwide, one of the first independent labels to achieve that milestone. Following the passing of its founder, Cleveland International was relaunched in 2019 with Steve Popovich Jr. at the helm, putting out new music as well as curated catalog items that bridge the generational divide. Cleveland International releases are distributed globally by BFD/Orchard.