NILS LOFGREN - LIVE
This may read like faint praise, but it's not: Nils Lofgren is one of rock & roll's esteemed journeymen. Though championed as a phenom when he emerged with his band Grin in the early '70s (he'd already played on Neil Young's classic After the Gold Rush when he was 19), stardom stubbornly eluded the gifted vocalist/instrumentalist/songwriter as a bandleader and later as a solo artist. Lofgren, however, proved over time to be a splendid lieutenant for some of the leading lights of the '70s and '80s, including Young, Lou Reed, and Bruce Springsteen. He also kept pling away as a frontman, with relatively little notice. Acoustic Live serves as a nifty career summary for the artist, who recorded this set in 1997, nearly three decades into his recording career. Lofgren sounds anything but drained here as he heartily revisits longtime set staples such as "Keith Don't Go," "Big Tears Fall," and "No Mercy" while mixing in a half-dozen fresh compositions.
Bruce Springsteen has frequently introduced Nils Lofgren as the "greatest, most overqualified" second guitarist in rock & roll. And Lofgren will certainly be remembered as one of the great team players, first as second chair to Neil Young, more recently with the E Street Band. The fact that the Rolling Stones wanted him to replace Mick Taylor and those early tours leading Ringo Starr's band blurs the fact that Lofgren has created some terrific music of his own. This 2003 release is his fifth official live album, and while not quite the raucous affair that 1977's Night After Night, it still proves Lofgren to be a formidable talent as a guitarist, singer, songwriter, and bandleader. The set list touches on more obscure moments from his career, dating back to four tunes from his early trio Grin, one from his debut LP, and a touching tribute to long-deceased Crazy Horse co-guitarist Danny Whitten via the latter's "I Don't Want To Talk About It." Lofgren produces a wonderful guitar sound - and covers of "The Star Spangled Banner" and Roberta Flack's "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (a studio bonus track) reveal that he still possesses one of the more beautiful and soothing voices in all of rock music.
1997 - "Acoustic Live":
01. You 02. Sticks and Stones 03. Some Must Dream 04. Little on Up 05. Keith Don't Go 06. Wonderland 07. Big Tears Fall 08. Believe 09. Black Books 10. To Your Heart 11. Man in the Moon 12. I'll Arise 13. Blue Skies 14. Tears on Ice 15. All Out 16. Mud in Your Eye 17. No Mercy
2003 - Nils Lofgren Band Live":
DISC 1: 01. Puttin' Out Fires 02. Daddy Dream 03. Too Many Miles 04. Driftin' Man 05. Damaged Goods 06. Two By Two 07. White Lies 08. Band Introduction 09. Shot At You 10. Tears Ain't Enough 11. I'm Buyin'
DISC 2: 01. I Don't Wanna Talk About It 02. Like Rain 03. I Found You 04. Can't Get Closer 05. Lost A Number 06. Slippery Fingers 07. Message 08. Bass and Drum intro 09. Girl In Motion 10. Gun And Run 11. The Star Spangled Banner 12 First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
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