Bruce Springsteen returns to his acoustic guitar with “Devils & Dust,” a new 12-track CD that comes out April 26 and will be accompanied by a tour.

The Boss left the E Street Band out of the recording studio and it’s uncertain which members, if any, will join him on tour.

The songs, some a decade old, are described as introspective and rootsy, played with instruments including pedal steel guitar, harmonica and violins.

“It’s about people working through their confusions, sometimes well and sometimes tragically,” Springsteen told The Associated Press. “A lot of it is set in the West, in what feels like a rural setting.”

It’s “more personal than (2002’s) “The Rising’ and may shock a few people with some of its lyrics,” he said, according to the Music News Service.

“I’m not trying to offend anyone, but I wanted to tell it straight.”

Springsteen is eying theaters and smaller halls, like he played on his acoustic 1995 “Ghost of Tom Joad” tour. Last year, he played major arenas in support of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

Since “Nebraska” in 1982, Springsteen has mixed acoustic material with the full-throttle rock for which he is best known.

Brendan O’Brien, who produced “The Rising,” also produced this latest recording, tracks on which include “Devils & Dust,” “All the Way Home,” “Reno,” “Long Time Comin’,” “Black Cowboys,” “Maria’s Bed,” “Silver Palomino,” “Jesus Was an Only Son,” “Leah,” “The Hitter,” “All I’m Thinkin’ About” and “Matamoras Banks.”

There also have been reports about a debate over whether to include a 13th track, described as more explicit than the others.

Springsteen said the title is “a celebration of those little Red Devil vacuums.”



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