Willie Nile is currently in the midst of a creative renaissance that’s produced some of the most compelling music of his 35-year career. The tradition continues with his CD American Ride.The CD is being released on Loud and Proud Records, where Nile becomes the first artist released under the label’s new deal with RED Distribution.“It’s pretty rockin’ over all, but there are some left turns and right turns along the way,” Nile says of the album, which was fan-funded through Pledgemusic.com. “There are songs about the rights of man, songs about freedom, songs about love and hate, songs about loss, songs about God and the absence of God, and songs about standing up for your fellow man. It’s upbeat and full of life. I’m thrilled with how it came out.”American Ride offers a bracing set of 11 original compositions, and one well-chosen cover, that rank with the catchiest and most vivid music that Nile’s ever delivered. From the everyday wisdom of “Life on Bleecker Street” and “Sunrise in New York City” to the broader observations of “This Is Our Time” and “Holy War” to the rock ’n’ roll abandon of “Say Hey” and the road-tripping title track. Several of American Ride’s recurring themes come into focus on the last two songs, “The Crossing” and “There’s No Place Like Home,” which end the album on a note of humanistic uplift. Another highlight is a fiery reading of Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died,” recorded as a tribute to both Carroll, who passed away in 2009, and to Nile’s late brother John. American Ride features backup from Nile’s live band guitarist Matt Hogan, bassist Johnny Pisano, drummer Alex Alexander, and Nile on guitar & piano guest appearances by Eagles’ guitarist Steuart and New York singer-songwriters James Maddock & Leslie Mendelson.
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