Posts Tagged ‘New York At Night’

At some point in the future there’s going to be a big party in New York and it may well be revolving around a musician named Willie Nile and his new album “New York At Night”.  Written and recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic crisis lockdown happened, here Willie celebrates The Big Apple in all its glory. And that passion is what New Yorkers will to need when all this pandemic madness is under control. 

“New York At Night” released in May 2020 and I do hope that people find inspiration in it. I have to say Nile who still proudly holds on to his New Jersey roots even after 30-plus years in California (and several months in locked down isolation!).  Willie’s music has a distinctly East Coast vibe which frankly we could use some of out here on the West Coast. How about Willie and his band opening up for Bruce’s next tour? That’d be a great double bill! If you’re not familiar with Willie Nile’s music, you need to get onboard.

That said, on New York At Night Willie Nile continues his home-run-hitting string of great albums that mine that well worn corner of pure Rock and Roll and street-wise soul spirit. 

And it is just what the Doctor ordered…True to form, this is a classic Willie Nile sound with twanging electric guitars, hook-filled choruses plus rocking riffs that bridge the gap between the Stones and Springsteen. That was never more evident on “The Fool Who Drank The Ocean” which grabs the essence of The Stones’ “Live With Me” and takes on a rich ride around New York’s dark side. “Lost And Lonely World” is one of those songs based on those classic chords used on a bazillion other rock and pop music hits, yet once again Willie has overlaid a great melody and ear-worm worthy hook chorus to make it his own.    

For me, the heart and soul of “New York At Night” is a track I suspect would be at the end of Side One of the vinyl LP version.  “A Little Bit Of Love” is one of those epic sing-a-long anthems you can’t help chiming in on at first listen. “The time has come to the land of need, enough of anger, hate and greed… you and I can plant the seed”  

“Run Free” feels like what might have happened had U2 come out of New Jersey — where the streets all have names –replete with glorious Gospel-like choral voices taking that song out like a sweet muscle car speeding through the Holland Tunnel into Manhattan. 

You can of course look for Willie’s new album out on CD and on vinyl (click on any of the titles here in this review to jump Willie’s page on Amazon ). When I get my hands on the on the latter I’ll be sure update to update this review. But for now it just feels good knowing some strong new rock ‘n’ roll is out there to help us get through these supremely surreal difficult times.

Willie has also written a song just for the Covid-19 crisis which he has posted on his Facebook page: “Occupy Your House”  delivering the poignant messageYou can have your rock, you can have your roll… you can save your immortal soul.” As Willie says in the video:  “keep your chin up, we can do this…”

When we are all safe and ready to party on the streets, Willie Nile’s “New York At Night” will be a big part of that joyous soundtrack.  Turn it up!

“New York at Night” is the 13th studio album from veteran rock ‘n’ roll troubadour Willie Nile, and the strongest manifestation to date of his deep affinity for the city. The album’s 12 new originals exemplify the artist’s trademark mix of romance, idealism, humour, emotional urgency and a true believer’s passionate embrace of all things rock ‘n’ roll. This affectionate tribute from the veteran singer-songwriter was released even as the city itself often resembled something of a ghost town due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The record celebrates family, unity and the city Nile has called home since the early 1970s

New Yorker Magazine has described Willie as “One of the most brilliant singer-songwriters of the past 30 years”, and Uncut Magazine dubbed him the unofficial poet laureate of New York City.Nile says the idea for the name, “New York at Night”, came to him one Friday night in the summer of 2018, when he was walking alone near Times Square to catch a subway. When he got on the train he saw a man all covered in thick whipped cream. After he exited the train he saw all sorts of characters on the street in Greenwich Village. As he continued his walk home, he thought “New York at night, wow, what a name for a song”. After he got home he picked up his guitar and wrote the song. Most of the songs are New York inspired but it is not a concept album.  Nile says “What all the songs on this album have in common is that they reflect my life and experiences living in New York.”

Nile first recorded “Run Free” in 2003 with his band, at the time, The Worry Dolls, but it was never previously released. “Surrender the Moon” is a song started by Nile’s brother John Noonan who died a year after starting the song in 2007. Nile finished the song for this album. Nile co-wrote “New York is Rockin'” with Curtis Stigers for Stigers’ 1995 album Time Was.

In February 2020 Nile announced plans to release his 13th studio album in 2020. On his own website he took advance orders for digital downloads, CDs, signed lyrics and other merchandise to raise funds to produce the album.  In a March 2020 interview by Jam Band News, Nile said ““I like the independent world.” “There are no constraints and you can work at your own speed. I’ve no complaints about having been on major labels. I was on two of them and I was able to do what I wanted to do.

But things have changed so much in the music business that being independent allows for so many more options.”[5] Nile has employed similar crowdfunding campaigns for five of his previous albums.

Released on May 15th, 2020 by River House Records

Title track off ‘New York At Night’