Pittsburgh Artist of the Week: Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers

Legendary Pittsburgh musicians Joe Grushecky and The Houserockers made their landmark album ‘American Babylon’ with Bruce Springsteen.

by Joey Spehar

Pittsburgh musician Joe Grushecky has been a fixture on the local scene since the 1970s. In 1995, Grushecky found himself looking for more from his music career and, at the urging of his wife, called his old pal Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen was experiencing a bit of a lull in his career at that time, as well, and hopped on board to produce and perform on American Babylon.

The record features Grushecky and The Houserockers and Springsteen at their heartland best on songs about love, mining coal, and the degeneration of American society. Listening to American Babylon in 2022 is a disheartening reminder that we still have a lot of work to do., but it also inspires hope for a better future.

In October of 1995, Springsteen headed out on the road for a short tour with The Houserockers including a stop in Pittsburgh at Nick’s Fat City on East Carson St. in the South Side. That show was recorded and released on the new reissue of American Babylon.

Listen to a recent interview with Joe Grushecky and Joey Spehar here.