Ben Allen, music editor
Gregory Bortnichak’s cover of the Bruce Springsteen classic “I’m On Fire” begins so hushed and reserved, you may feel guilty for intruding on this intimately recorded moment. Bortnichak’s captivating, haunting vocal is accompanied solely by a gently plucked cello. There is not a hint of irony in this passionately delivered interpretation, as Bortnichak painstakingly deconstructs the original down to its essential elements. Later, some ambient and repetitive noise further intrigues while an echo-laden cello mimics the vocal harmony. It is an unusual accomplishment for music this subtle and unassuming to be so captivating.
In his own words, Bortnichak elaborates, “I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen was but a dream of longing for what could be, and as a ‘Jersey Boy’ myself (well sort of), became my introduction to the glorious kingdom of Devil’s Music.”
“I’m On Fire” is the first track available from Gregory Bortnichak’s debut solo album “Locution,” available this Spring. Catch him on tour this month with RedRumsey.