WILLIE NILE SHINES BRIGHTLY DURING TWO FULL SETS AT THE VOGEL

Words & Photos by Doug Dresher

July 14, 2021

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My God, Willie Nile is the most sincere musician you could ever meet. Born of a wonderful balance between Dylan’s Blond on Blond and the Clash; throw in Patti Smith, Lou Reed, and everyone who rocked NYC along Bleaker Street and St. Mark’s Place ... and the rest of the late 1970’s NYC music scene. Willie Nile is as much a music fan as he is a rock and roller. And I can hear where Chuck Prophet has found his own musical guru.

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Nile is also an encyclopedia of rock knowledge. I don’t think there is a performer with whom he has not hung out. During his first set Nile told a great story about touring with The Who. Even after all these years, he still can’t believe that Pete Townsend said he liked Willie Nile’s album.


Nile also told a heartbreaking story of recording in the same studio complex as John Lennon just after the release of Double Fantasy. Even though everyone in the audience could tell where the story was going, Nile’s poetic description of learning about Lennon’s untimely death brought tears to many in the crowd.

Count Basie's The Vogel (a new venue to me) was the perfect environment for Nile’s two shows. The attentive crowd of loyal fans enjoyed perfect sound and lighting and clapped along with great enthusiasm. Beyond that, I think Willie Nile had more fun than anyone else in the venue except possibly for the rest of the band. And I would be remiss if I didn’t offer that Nile’s band was spot-on and rocked the house like teenagers playing in the garage.


Random words and phrases about the performance -

Fun

Amazingly tight and passionate band (Johnny Pisano – Bass, Jimi K Bones – Guitar, Jon Weber – Drums, and Rob Clores, Keyboards)

Humble

Intimate

Worth the wait for the end of Covid to finally rock out!

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Nile is playing in support of his new release The Day the Earth Stood Still, which he talked about in my podcast. It’s an album about finding purpose and meaning while hunkered down because of the pandemic. More than that, as Willie played songs from the new release, it was easy to see that the album is also about the human spirit and the strength to pull together and make a better world.


Although Willie Nile has been around for quite a while, with his energy and drive, I suspect that he is just getting warmed up.

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Listen to my podcast with Willie Nile!


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Born from an existential argument between the modernists and postmodernists, I have found my home with the post-punks and those who love a good slice of pizza. I live in a world of art in the age of mechanical reproduction and the ever-elusive decisive moment. Punctum and Stadium aside, I like to take photographs of people and things to see how they look photographed. While I miss CBGBs, I think Asbury Park is as close as we are ever going to get to making punk whatever we make it to be. The future is unwritten and I owe it all to Mr. Bradley and Mr. Martin. Let us now praise famous men and ask the little prince for his thoughts. Sometimes I'm on the road, but If it wasn’t for the honor of the thing, I’d rather walk. My loving wife supports this albatross of an obsession and my kids put up with me well. BA, MFA, M.Ed., BCEA, Tri-X, and Nikon.

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