June 10, 2013 by Jay Minkin
It’s OK in my book if you come late to the party, just as long as you eventually get there. Like me, you most likely have a laundry list of artists that you didn’t get exposed to until a little farther along in their career. For me, Willie Nile is one of those singer/songwriters that never flew into my radar until 2006 with his brilliant Streets of New York album that came just about twenty-six years after his debut. Ouch! Like a fine wine, some artists seem to get better and more prolific with age as Nile’s resume’ can attest with House of A Thousand Guitars in 2009 and The Innocent Ones from 2010. So for those of you still not familiar with his songs which paint a picture of the Greenwich Village city landscape, you can get onboard with his new album American Ride due to hit your local record store on June 25th.
Produced by Nile and Stewart Lerman, the new album became a last minute pick-up by Loud & Proud Records after a very successful Pledge Music campaign. Nile is the first artist being released under the label’s new distribution deal with Sony/RED and ends his twenty plus years of indie status since those long ago Arista and Columbia years. Back then, Nile was a fixture of the New York folk and punk scene and he continues to reference locations in and around the Bleecker Street nightlife district with his music with new songs “Sunrise in New York City” and “Life on Bleecker Street”. Nile is backed by his live touring band on this project with guitarist Matt Hogan, bassist Johnny Pisano, and drummer Alex Alexander along with the bandleader’s guitar and beautiful piano work.
“It’s pretty rockin’” Nile says of the new album. “There are songs about the rights of man, songs about freedom, songs about love and hate, songs about loss, songs about God and the absence of God, and songs about standing up for your fellow man. It’s upbeat and full of life”. Nile enlisted Eric Bazilian to co-write the quirky and humorous “God Laughs” and Mike Peters rides shotgun cruising around the country with Nile on “American Ride”. Some of those observations come forward in songs like “This is Our Time” and the angst anthem “Holy War”. Nile cranks his signature jangly guitar with “Say Hey” and revisits the Jim Carroll classic “People Who Died” as tribute to both the poet/songwriter who passed away in 2009 and his late brother John. “No Place Like Home” will have your toes tapping to the twangy beat and singing along with the chorus. The best song to receive some crossover radio love is the beautiful ballad “She’s Got My Heart” that should be added into your personal jukebox rotation.
Willie Nile is heading out on tour this summer playing small, intimate clubs with the band. This longtime admirer is thankful that Cleveland is one of the early stops on the first portion of the schedule along with Buffalo, Ann Arbor, Pittsburgh, New York City, Vienna Virginia, and Woodbridge New Jersey. To keep up-to-date with the latest news and tour announcements, visit www.willienile.com or subscribe to his fan page on Facebook.