Live by the Nils Lofgren Band is a hard CD to track down. I suggest you make the effort to do so. Yes, Nils is of Swedish decent, but that is not the only reason I like this CD. The guy can sang, I tell ya!
Nils started gaining recognition at about age 17 with another of my faves, Neil Young. I know Neil's little sister, Astrid, and she also rawks hard. Nils was a very good fit for Neil's laid-back, acoustic sound and appeared on his platinum After The Gold Rush album (among others) to much acclaim. Nils spent the majority of his career then flitting back and forth amongst Neil, Bruce Springsteen, and Ringo Starr (hey man, we all make mistakesâ€¦)
I have enjoyed the majority of his endeavors, but none so much as his own 2003 Live album. This one is very similar in style to his roots with Neil Young, but not so much as to be in any way considered copying the style. He takes Neil's heart-felt style and makes it his own. I very much hope to catch his next concert in Copenhagen. He has a lot of US tour dates coming up too, so check out the schedule at his website.Â
There are 22 tracks on this Live CD, plus one bonus cover of First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Normally I could really do without cover songs, but he does a fairly decent job of not butchering this one. I actually rather like his kinda bluesy version of the song.
I have no intention of going through this song-by-song, but I do want to give you a bit of a feel for it so I'll talk a bit about a few of my favorites. I do want to say that Nils has a very soulful voice, and is very good at getting emotion across in each and every one of his songs.
Putting Out Fires is the first song on the first CD of this 2 CD set, and is a good way to start off the thing. This is bit of a sad song with a slow feel to it, but enough oomph to have you tapping your foot along with the beat. An odd combination when you think about it, but it works wonderfully. This one gives you a good feel for what to expect from the rest of the set.
What's wrong with me?
You wash your hands in my tears
Two By Two is one of those heart-wrenching songs that perhaps you shouldn't listen to if you are getting over a recent break up... unless you are in that comforting pity-party stage where you want to seek out songs which illicit bucket-loads of tears. Oh come on, we've all been there... here he talks about seeing the love of his life with someone else.
and they come walking out heart in heart,
hand in hand, two by two...
Lest you get the impression that this is a depressing CD, let me assure you that it really isn't. Most of the songs, even the ones targeting broken hearts, have a nice little beat to them. I could do without his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and often skip over it while listening to this in the car, but that's political so I'll save ya the rant for now. heh.
What it really comes down to is that if you like people like Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger (sp?), or even Bob Dylan, then there is a very good chance that you will like Nils Lofgren as well. This Live album is a great introduction to his solo stuff. Four Stars.
The Song List, Just for fun...
Puttin' Out Fires
Too Many Miles
Two By Two
Shot At You
Tears Ain't Enough
I Don't Wanna Talk About It
I Found You
Can't Get Closer
Lost A Number
Girl In Motion
Bass & Brum Intro
Gun And Run
Star Spangled Banner
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face - (studio, bonus track)