A pending solo album apparently pushed Bruce Springsteen back on the road with the E Street Band in 2016. Seems he didn't want to go so long without rejoining his long-time compatriots on stage.

"The project I've been working on is more of a solo project," he said, during a visit this morning at SiriusXM Radio. "It wasn't a project I was going to probably take the band out on. So I said, 'Gee, that's going to push the band playing again until a ways in the future. It'll be nice to get some playing in so you don't wind up being two or three years between E Street tours.' This will give us a chance to get out there and stretch our muscles a little bit."

Springsteen has since announced a hotly anticipated 24-date tour. Beginning next month in Pittsburgh, it's tied to an expanded new reissue of his 1980 double album The River.

"We made the box set and there was no plan to tour," he said. "Then we felt, 'Maybe we should do a show just to raise the flag and have some fun and make it a little more exciting.' I said. 'Okay, maybe we'll do a show in New York.' Then that went quick to, 'Maybe we should do a couple of shows.' Then it turns into, 'Maybe we should do a small series of shows, basically one-nighters, with maybe a little bit around the country."

In keeping with the original sessions for The River, this new tour will peel away some of the expanded E Street lineup that joined Springsteen for the High Hopes tour in 2014. That edition boasted 18 members, including a five-piece horn section and guitarist Tom Morello. Rolling Stone reports that these dates will feature the group's remaining core members, plus saxophonist Jake Clemons – nephew of the late E Street Band legend Clarence Clemons – and violinist Soozie Tyrell.

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