American Ride

American Ride

by Willie Nile
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American Ride

A hell of a lot has been written about rock & roll singer/songwriter Willie Nile since he made his Arista debut in 1981. Musicians and press alike have sung his praises across the globe, yet mainstream success has always eluded him. It hasn't deterred him, however; he's continued to issue new recordings -- albeit sporadically -- that have been consistent in their lyric content, infectious melodic hooks, and unrepentant swagger. The recording of American Ride, the follow-up to his killer Innocent Ones from 2011, funded by a successful Pledge Music campaign, was intended to be issued independently. Loud & Proud's Tom Lipsky intervened after hearing it, and made Nile the signature signing for the label's new distribution deal with Sony's RED. This is his first album to have major-label distribution in 22 years. The band on American Ride is his road group -- guitarist Matt Hogan, bassist Johnny Pisano, drummer Alex Alexander -- with some holdover guests from Innocent Ones: co-producer Stewart Lerman, Frankie Lee, and guitarist Steuart Smith. Nile wrote or co-wrote 11 of the album's original 12 tracks, and all three of its special edition bonus numbers. The lone cover is a wailing version of the late Jim Carroll's "People Who Died," sung in tribute to the author and Nile's brother John. There isn't a weak track in the bunch, but you could stack up its first six against almost anything in this vernacular that's been released since 1975's Born to Run. The anthemic punch and roll of "This Is Our Time" opens the set, followed by the bittersweet portrait "Life on Bleecker Street," with its infectious chorus and a glorious string arrangement by the late Rob Morseberger. The title track is an homage to American music with acoustic and electric guitars, touches of banjo, and B-3, threading country, folk, blues, and rock through the mix. "If I Ever See the Light"'s piano is inspired directly by the E Street Band, but the lyric and melody are pure Nile. The love song "She's Got My Heart" melds his indefatigable romanticism with his keen eye as a lifelong observer of human behavior. The stutter-stop "God Laughs," with its slamming drum kit, chunky guitar vamp, and Nile's strutting snarl is backed by a joyously shouted male chorus. Other standouts include the bluesy rockabilly of "Say Hey" and the poignant ballad "The Crossing." American Ride is every bit as strong as Innocent Ones, if not more so. Nile may wear his influences on his sleeve, but as a songwriter, he's always been his own man. He has stubbornly, even fiercely, clung to the gritty mantle of roots rock & roll; and why not? When you write songs this well, there's no reason for compromise. [The special edition includes three bonus tracks: the funky, razor-sharp "Occupy," the completely solo acoustic "Motel Life" (which sounds like a demo), and the anthemic rocker "One Guitar V2.0."]

Product Details

Release Date: 06/25/2013
Label: Loud & Proud Records
UPC: 0858135004000
catalogNumber: 2

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Willie Nile   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Alex Alexander   Percussion,Drums
Suzanne Ornstein   Violin,Viola
Steuart Smith   Banjo,Guitar,Harmonium
Rob Morsberger   Harmonium
Lee Hogans   Trumpet
Leslie Mendelson   Background Vocals
Oli Rockberger   Organ,Piano
Matt Hogan   Guitar
James Maddock   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Johnny Pisano   Electric Bass,Background Vocals,Upright Bass
Matt Janiszewski   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Frankie Lee   Composer
Jim Carroll   Composer
Willie Nile   Composer,Producer
Alex Alexander   Additional Production
Stewart Lerman   Producer
Cary Baker   Publicity
Rob Morsberger   String Arrangements
James Frazee   Engineer
Deborah Maniaci   Art Direction
Mike Peters   Composer
Johnny Pisano   String Arrangements,Additional Production
Steph Ziemann   Band Photo
Andrew Fitzsimmons   Executive Producer

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American Ride 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago