Willie Nile – American Ride (2013)

Share this:

Just another of your basic 35-year overnight success stories here. A few months ago, Willie Nile was completing a pledge drive to fund his new album. Now, he’s a few days away from releasing his first album with major distribution since 1991.

Nobody has questioned Nile’s commitment to his craft, and he’s had some powerful endorsements along the way. That was Nile opening up for the Who on their 1982 U.S. tour. Bruce Springsteen fans will likely recommend his unruly mop from a stage appearances with the Boss, too. Lucinda Williams loves him. Bono, too. That industry respect continues on American Ride, by the way, as Nile welcomes guest appearances by members of the the Hooters (Eric Bazilian, who co-wrote smartly introspective “God Laughs”) and the Alarm (Mike Peters, on the ruminative road trip of a title track), as well as Eagles touring musician Steuart Smith.

But, in many ways, Nile’s melodicism and emotional availability have always been balanced out by sharp-elbowed topicality and a certain iconoclastic bent. These 11 originals (due June 25, 2013 from Loud and Proud Records and RED) only underscore these combined sensibilities. There’s as much hard-earned wisdom as there is rugged individuality. If anything, Nile’s difficult major-label run in 1980-81 with Arista (though they produced a well-received pair of projects including his self-titled debut) only served to bolster his street-level cred.

It was easy to come to the conclusion, even after a brief early-1990s resurgence with Places I’ve Never Been on Columbia, that Nile was perhaps meant to be of the people, more respected than well known. The enthusiastic response to indie-released efforts like 1999’s Beautiful Wreck of the World, which made Top 10 lists for The Village Voice and Billboard, certainly bolstered the argument.

American Ride — part singer-songwriter (“Life on Bleeker Street”), part flinty rocker (“Say Hey”): it’s like Dylan sitting in with the Replacements — might just change all of that for good. Besides solidifying everything that had only been hinted at with the fine notices for 2011’s The Innocent Ones,, it works as a kind of codification for his lasting rebel cool.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B00COQU00I” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B004F1O98O” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000G03RWC” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B000E6EJAM” container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B001TD1XW6″ container=”” container_class=”” price=”All” background_color=”FFFFFF” link_color=”000000″ text_color=”0000FF” /]

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
Share this:
Close