A couple decades late because a prime regret of my time in New Jersey in the early 90s was never seeing him live. Another week late because Maundy Thursday would have been even better.
He is not only a master storyteller, but a preacher; fearless in the face of the dark. His anthems starkly conjure, then defy, life’s hardships with astonishingly gritty playing and singing. He took us down poignantly detailed roads peculiarly blue-collar but also somehow universal; the congregation finally joining in choruses that moved beyond lyrics to simple sung affirmations. He was all I had been told: one of the greatest showmen ever.