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Lofgren, Nils: Blue With Lou

His first solo venture for some eight years, Blue With Lou finds Nils Lofgren - a man arguably better known as a rock solid presence in the E Street Band and with Neil Young - looking back, while undoubtedly still fixed on the here and now. The album title explains much of what is going on, with six tracks taken from 70s sessions that found Lofgren and Lou Reed creating new music - some of which Lofgren would go onto release and some of which found its way into the Reed catalogue. Five of the six presented here are new, while “City Lights” is a reworking of a song that Reed released many moons ago. We also pay respect to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers with “Dear Heartbreaker”, a song that came to Lofgren through natural inspiration after realising he would never see the band ever again, rather than an intended tribute. Either way it’s a wonderful languid slide of a track that ends up nodding to all those who spend their time helping, loving and improving others and their circumstances. Whereas “Remember You” shows the love that Lofgren and his wife Amy have for their dogs, with their first canine companion, the much missed Groucho the subject here.

However, if Lofgren is reminiscing about lost friends, he’s also shining a light on humanity, as he turns the focus onto the plight of women who in many places in the world are still viewed as second class citizens and examines the ever further shift of power in the world to the deeply misguided super rich. The planet’s predicament is given equal prominence and plays into the key message that we’re losing site of who we are, where we are and what we should really want.

Three of the Reed co-writes open the account, “Attitude City” a grimy sing along that immediately draws you in while also instantly highlighting the importance of Cindy Mizele, who adds vocals to eight of the twelve pieces in play. The gently rolling beat of “Give” finds Lofgren caressing the frets as his cohorts of many moons, Andy Newmark (drums) and Kevin McCormick (bass), lay down the kind of rhythmical backing that is both instantly urgent and laid back and when the track pushes on, the groove is utterly irresistible. “Talk Thru The Tears” shows a much more tender side, sitting somewhere between the world of Billy Joel and Chris Rea as its picture is brush stroked into life. With the title track picking up steam like a miles long locomotive slowly powering its load to its destination, it’s Newmark and McCormick who again prove the understated stars, while it’s the sharp, incisive guitar pinch in “Don’t Let Your Guard Down” and proud bluesy strut at the heart of “Cut Him Up” that illustrate the gentle eclecticism on show.

With the confidence that 50 years on the road will provide and the well-placed belief that he still has a lot to say, Nils Lofgren continues to stride purposefully forward. That he’s also acknowledging some of the many things that have helped him to where he is now brings a poignancy and authenticity to Blue With Lou that you simply can’t fake and the brew it thrusts in your hands is intoxicating.

Track Listing
1. Attitude City
2. Give
3. Talk Thru The Tears
4. Pretty Soon
5. Rock Or Not
6. City Lights
7. Blue With Lou
8. Don’t Let Your Guard Down
9. Too Blue To Play
10. Cut Him Up
11. Dear Heartbreaker
12. Remember You

Added: April 13th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Blue With Lou @ Wienerworld
Hits: 1479
Language: english

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