Blue With Lou
Cattle Track Road Records
Nils Lofgren was born in Chicago in 1951. As a youngster he studied classical accordion for ten years before focusing on rock and learning to play guitar and piano. Lofgren formed the band “Grin” in 1968. Soon later, at the age of 19, he met Neil Young and joined Young’s band. He appears on Young’s 1970 album “After The Gold Rush”, and five more albums by Young. Lofgren and Young are also band mates in “Crazyhorse” and they appear together on that best selling 1971 album. Lofgren released his own eponymous solo debut in 1975 on A&M Records. In 1979 Lofgren co-wrote thirteen songs with Lou Reed and three appear on Reed’s album “The Bells” including “City Lights”. Lofgren also plays in the E Street Band and appears on ten Bruce Springsteen albums; and has been inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “Blue With Lou” is Lofgren’s twenty-seventh solo recording.
Of the twelve tracks on the album six were composed with the late, legendary Reed. Five of these have never been previously recorded. After Reed’s death in 2013 Lofgren decided to record their unheard songs. Lofgren completed the remainder of the album while on tour in 2017. The core band includes Lofgren, guitars, keyboards and vocals; Kevin McCormick, bass; and Andy Newmark, drums. Additional vocalists include Cindy Miselle. The album is produced by Nils and Amy Lofgren.
The songs composed with Reed include “Attitude City”; “Give”; “Talk Thru The Tears”; “Don’t Let Your Guard Down” and “Cut Him Up”. Also included is the aforementioned “City Lights” featuring special guest Branford Marsalis on saxophone. The swagger and characteristics that have been the essence of both artists are properly displayed as Lofgren pays homage to Reed.
These songs are complemented by six new songs from Lofgren. “Too Blue To Play” is about the relationship Lofgren has with his wife and creative partner Amy. “Remember You” mourns the loss of the beloved family dog.
The title track “Blue With Lou” honors Reed; while “Dear Heartbreaker” is a tribute to another friend, the late Tom Petty. “All these things, these people and friends that are gone, are not forgotten. You’ve got to find their spirits and hook into them as companions moving forward. I felt those songs went together and they needed to be at the end of the album.”
Lofgren’s guitar and vocals have a special sensitivity which ultimately lets you get to know Lofgren. This is a fine work of art.