RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Willie Nile – An American Ride
Loud & Proud Records
http://loudandproudrecords.com/artists/willie-nile/

Rating: A

For over three and a half decades guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Willie Nile has been bashing New Yorkers over the head with his unique blend of music. 

While many outside of his home area are not familiar with Nile, those “in the know” love the man and his music.  His tunes are addictive and this album, his first with national distribution in over twenty years, is a true career renaissance for the talented muse.

“It’s pretty rocking’ over all, but there are some left turns and right turns along the way,” Nile says of the album, which was fan-funded through Pledgemusic.com. “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. I’m thrilled with how it came out.”

The album mixes Nile’s reflective look at life on songs like “She’s Got My Heart” and “Life on Bleeker Street” to the angry “Holy War” to the hopeful “This is Our Time.”  The man is a music writing machine, pumping his every emotion into his lyrics and finding the right chords to reflect his feelings. 

The albums only remake is wonderfully done as Nile and band crank up the Jim Carroll classic “People Who Died” adding a touch of distorted angst to the tune. 

While not a household name, one could best describe the music on An American Ride as a mixture of musical styles including early Bruce Springsteen, classic era Bob Dylan, the early days of The Fab 4, a bit of Ian Hunter and Lou Reed and even a touch of Joey Ramone in places.  Willie goes from acoustic to electric with ease and his songs become larger than life in the process.

The bottom line here is that Willie done good.  An American Ride?  Indeed, and what a ride it is!  From acoustic ballads, to open road rockers, to loud distorted guitar licks, An American Ride reaches out and grabs the listener, not letting them go…which is more than cool as this music gets better with each listen.  In the process, Willie’s music becomes our own, touching our emotions and making the songs belong to all of us, which, as an artist, is all one can ask.    

TRACKLISTING

1. This Is Our Time
2. Life On Bleecker Street
3. American Ride
4. If I Ever See The Light
5. She’s Got My Heart
6. God Laughs
7. People Who Died
8. Holy War
9. Say Hey
10. Sunrise In New York City
11. The Crossing
12. There’s No Place Like Home

By Jeb Wright

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