When the going gets tough, the tough-talking artists tend to play it safe by recording albums of instrumentals or folk traditionals. Since Bruce Springsteen doesn't have the guitar-picking prowess of Bruce Cockburn, he decided to revisit the public domain tunes associated with Pete Seeger in a hootenany hoedown style. If you didn't know this was Springsteen's new record, you'd swear it was the Silver Hearts. Only the ham-fisted interplay of the musicians hired by the Boss and the inferior recording quality indicate that it isn't from Peterborough. The gusto with which Springsteen delivers the many verses of Froggie Went A-Courtin' leaves me wondering if the millionaire everyman is simply unaware that his country is at war. Maybe Jon Landau figures it's best that the Boss doesn't find out.