Has Bruce Springsteen been working on a new album in Atlanta? While his representatives are keeping tight-lipped, E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren confirmed reports that have been circulating on t

Has Bruce Springsteen been working on a new album in Atlanta? While his representatives are keeping tight-lipped, E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren confirmed reports that have been circulating on the Internet when interviewed last week by ESPN Radio's Tony Kornheiser. "Last week, in Atlanta, we got together -- I mean, it was supposed to be a big secret, but it's all over every Web site there was," Lofgren said. "There were 'spies' in the parking lot when we were down there, from Italy."

Even so, Lofgren said even he doesn't know what will come of the sessions, but hopes they are the start of a new album from the band. "This is the first step of what would have to be many. And you know, I love Bruce and I hope he takes all those steps, and in a year or so, whatever, on his timetable, does that," he said,

According to a source, rumors of Springsteen working with producer Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots) in Atlanta are true, with as many as five songs having been put to tape. The Web site of noted Springsteen authority Backstreets fanzine (which also features a transcript of Lofgren's interview with Kornheiser) quoted its own source, which confirmed the recording sessions at Southern Tracks studio.

When contacted, a representative for Springsteen had no information on a new album, or any of the artist's future plans. This isn't the first time in recent memory reports have surfaced about Springsteen recording sessions. Last March, E Street Band guitarist Little Steven Van Zandt confirmed that the band had been recording, but those sessions have so far yielded no album.

"I would like to get more music out -- I know, I say that every time," Springsteen told Bob Costas in an interview last year. "It's not going to be our usual amount of time to make a record -- we don't have the time to waste anymore."

The Boss' most recent release was last year's two-disc Columbia concert set, "Live in New York City." The album entered The Billboard 200 last April at No. 5, and has sold 336,000 copies in the U.S. to date, according to SoundScan.

Springsteen's last studio album was 1995's solo set "The Ghost of Tom Joad," which he supported with an acoustic theater tour. That year's "Greatest Hits" included several new songs recorded with the E Street Band, laying the groundwork for the 1999-2000 reunion tour that spawned the "Live in New York City" album and DVD release. Several previously unreleased songs were premiered during the tour, including "Land of Hopes and Dreams" and "American Skin (41 Shots)."

Another new song, "My City of Ruins," was released as part of the "America: A Tribute to Heroes" album and DVD. Originally written about his adopted hometown of Asbury Park, N.J., the song took on new meaning following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. Backed by E Streeters Patti Scialfa and Clarence Clemons, among others, Springsteen played it to open the historic "America" telethon, which has raised more than $150 million for victims of the attacks.

Springsteen has also contributed a version of Johnny Cash's "Train of Love" to an upcoming tribute compilation celebrating the country legend's 70th birthday.

In other news, Springsteen items will be part of the auction at the ninth annual Kristen Ann Carr Fund (KACF) winter semi-formal, set for Feb. 23 in New York. Proceeds from the event at the city's 200 Fifth Club will benefit the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for the fight against sarcoma.

Among the items up for silent auction are a reissue 1952 Fender Telecaster guitar autographed by Springsteen, as well as a 1993 Springsteen tour jacket. A "Sex and the City" script signed by actor Chris Noth, and a Thirty Odd Foot Of Grunts poster signed by frontman/actor Russell Crowe will also be on the block.

The KACF was founded after the death of the 21-year-old daughter of music journalist Dave Marsh and his wife, Springsteen's co-manager Barbara Carr, who in 1993 succumbed to sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Springsteen and Scialfa have long been supporters of the organization, and have attended many of its fundraising events in the past. The organization regularly provides grants to various cancer organizations.

Tickets for the KACF winter semi-formal are $100 through Feb. 15, and $110 from Feb. 16-22, through sarcoma.com. All remaining tickets will be available for $120 at the door. As the event is a benefit, the price of a ticket, less $53, is tax deductible.