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Lofgren,Nils: Old School

The recording career of Nils Lofgren has been a long and winding road since the release of Grin's eponymous debut album way back in 1971. His solo output has seen many highlights including Nils Lofgren, Cry Tough and I Came To Dance (all from the 1970's), Flip (1985), Crooked Line (1992) and 2008's stark The Loner Nils Sings Neil. Parallel to all of this of course has been his tenures with Crazy Horse, the All-Starr Band and The E Street Band, who have only this week confirmed they will be rocking stadiums across the Globe again in 2012. As the title suggests Old School finds Lofgren in reflective, nostalgic and world-weary mood and is characterised by heartfelt vocals and smooth arrangements.

Heavyweight guest vocalists Lou Gramm, Paul Rodgers and Sam Moore make appearances but none detracts from Lofgren getting his message across. Youth inertia, modern technology and government inaction on child predators are all in his firing line on the title track, a horn-driven rock and roller that makes for a bold opening. Lofgren hit the milestone of 60 in June, no doubt prompting the autobiographical "60 is the New 18" and "Ain't Too Many of us Left", which celebrate those that are still with us and battle constant daily pain as was the case prior to his double hip replacement that is wittingly referenced in the lyrics. "Amy Joan Blues" (the track featuring Rodgers) is a swamp rock blues stomp where the two vocalist trade lines against a backdrop of Lofgren's slide guitar. A quietly effective tribute to Ray Charles, "Miss You Ray" inevitably evokes memories of the departed Clarence Clemons, for so long Lofgren's E Street blood brother and whose substantial presence will always be felt. The Bruce McCabe penned "Irish Angel", a long-time favourite of Lofgren's, is a mournful lament for a bygone era and perfectly fits with the rest of the album with its soulful delivery and sincerity.

A journey of anger, grief, purpose and quiet contemplation, Old School contains some of Nils Lofgren's finest songwriting and will resonate for a long time.

Track Listing
01 - Old School
02 60 Is the New 18
03 Miss You Ray
04 Love Stumbles On
05 Amy Joan Blues
06 Irish Angel
07 Ain't Too Many Of Us Left
08 When You Were Mine
09 Just Because You Love Me
10 Dream Big
11 Let Her Get Away
12 Why Me

Added: November 27th 2011
Reviewer: Dean Pedley
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 2263
Language: english

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