New York At Night
River House Records
Willie Nile was born Robert Noonan in Buffalo, New York in 1948. He attended the University of Buffalo and later moved to New York’s Greenwich Village to begin his recording career. He frequented the nightclub CBGB’s were he was first inspired by the Ramones. He released his self-titled debut on Arista Records in 1980 and was invited to join “The Who” on their summer tour. This is Nile’s thirteenth studio album, his last being 2018’s “Children of Paradise”.
Nile states “New York City has always inspired me, I’ve lived in Greenwich Village for many years now, and I love being there. The energy, the grit, and the mastery of it all fills my heart with wonder. Most of these songs were written in New York or were inspired by it in one way or another.” The singer-songwriter’s twelve originals are a rock n’ roll stew mixing emotion, romance, humor and idealism. “What all the songs on this album have in common is that they reflect my life and experiences living in New York, I love the history, the mystery, the energy and the action. There’s always something going on, and I feel so alive when I’m there. It’s a great place for a writer. There are ideas and creatures of all kinds walking down every street. The rich, the poor, the lost, the lonely, the big shots, the bullshit artists, the visionaries, the good, the bad, the ugly, all living in this great metropolitan area with people from all over the world and all walks of life. I learn something new every day living there.”
Nile, guitar, piano, Glockenspiel and vocals; is accompanied by his longtime live band including Matt Hogan and Jimi K. Bones, guitars; Johnny Pisano, bass; and Jon Weber, drums. Additional musicians include guitarist Steuart Smith (who played with Rodney Crowell in The Cicadas); pianist Brian Mitchell (who played with Levon Helm); and background vocalists Frankie Lee, and James Maddock. The album is co-produced by Nile and Stewart Lerman and recorded at Hobo Sound in Weehawken, N.J.
“New York is Rockin’” and “New York At Night” are about life in The Big Apple. “Run Free” is an older song written with Lee and featuring a different band including Andy York, guitar; Brad Albetta, bass; Rich Pagano, drums; Chris Palmaro, piano; and backing singers Tawatha Agee and Vaneese Thomas. Another older tune “Surrender the Moon” was written with his late brother John. The romance songs include “A Little Bit of Love”, “The Last Time We Made Love” and “Downtown Girl”. Nile adds “I believe in love, it’s what makes life worth living. Life is hard for everyone and the world would be a sorry place without it.”
This is unadulterated rock n’ roll. The energy of the city is in the songs. Play it loud.