Friday, January 15, 2016

Nils Lofgren update: Live album, Springsteen tour

When Bruce Springsteen takes his E Street Band on the road soon, he will have his trusted guitarist Nils Lofgren again by his side.

For more than 30 years, Lofgren has handled guitar duties for Springsteen — first as Steven Van Zandt’s replacement in 1984, and then remaining after Van Zandt’s return in the late ’90s.

“It’s very exciting for me to be out again with E Street,” Lofgren confides. “It’s always an honor to play with them and to be out promoting the great 'Ties That Bind: The River' box set.”

The River tour isn’t the only thing Lofgren is excited about as 2016 begins. He is thrilled over the response to his new CD UK2015 Face the Music Live, which captures the magic he made last year touring the United Kingdom with his longtime collaborator, the multi-instrumentalist Greg Varlotta.

In these concerts Lofgren performed many of his favorite tracks. “It really is the audience that breathes the life, fire and inspiration into every performance on this album,” he reveals. “We’d been out on the road promoting the new album when the call for the River tour came, and we’ll pick up where we left off at the conclusion of the E Street run.”

On UK2015 Face the Music Live, the album concept and design came from Nils’ wife Amy, who felt these were the best shows she’d seen him do, and insisted the last half of the tour be recorded for an album.

The resulting fifteen tracks span Lofgren’s long, memorable career — from “Lost a Number,” a gem from his early days fronting Grin, to “Miss You ‘C’,” written in honor of the late E Street sax man Clarence Clemons. The disc mixes deeply-felt Lofgren songs like “Too Many Miles,” “Like Rain” and “New Holes in Old Shoes” with covers of Danny Whitten’s “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” and Carole King’s “Goin’ Back.”

Throughout Lofgren demonstrates why he has long been heralded as a guitar hero, whether it is with his searing electric guitar work or his intricately nimble picking on an acoustic. UK2015 Face the Music Live has quickly garnered praise.

Lofgren’s Face the Music tour followed the 2014 release of his monumental Face the Music box set, a nine-CD/one-DVD retrospective covering near five-decade career that was roundly admired by critics.

This past November he was honored with the “Outstanding Contribution Award” at the Classic Rock Awards held in London. Lofgren joins esteemed company of previous winners who have included fellow Rock Hall of Famers Jeff Beck, Ronnie Wood and John Paul Jones.

Lofgren’s storied career began when he was still a teenager. He was touring with his band Grin at 17 when he met Neil Young, and wound up playing on Young’s landmark After the Gold Rush album, and later the Crazy Horse debut and Tonight’s the Night. Grin would go on to release a quartet of albums loved by critics but little noticed by the public. This pattern continued during Lofgren’s solo career, which produced should-have-been-hits like “I Came to Dance,” “Keith Don’t Go” and “Cry Tough” during the ’70s.

While perhaps best known now for his work with Springsteen, Lofgren has a resume that’s amazingly diverse and star-studded. Besides his work with Young (Lofgren later played on Trans and Young’s MTV Unplugged show), he has recorded with music legends Jerry Lee Lewis, Del Shannon and Carl Perkins, collaborated with Lou Reed and toured with Ringo Starr.

His rock roll-call includes Rod Stewart, Bob Seger, Paul Rodgers and Stephen Stills, but he’s also played with Cab Calloway, Willie Nelson, Rick James and George Benson. Oh, and he performed some Christmas songs with Bart Simpson for Fox TV, too.
Lofgren has enjoyed an incredible career and he is still going strong. 

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band The River tour dates:

Sat., Jan. 16 PITTSBURGH, PA Consol Energy Center
Tue., Jan. 19 CHICAGO, IL United Center
Sun., Jan. 24 NEW YORK, NY Madison Square Garden
Wed, Jan. 27 NEW YORK, NY Madison Square Garden
Fri., Jan. 29 WASHINGTON, DC Verizon Center
Sun., Jan. 31 NEWARK, NJ Prudential Center
Tue., Feb. 2 TORONTO, ON Air Canada Centre
Thu., Feb. 4 BOSTON, MA TD Garden
Mon., Feb. 8 ALBANY, NY Times Union Center
Wed., Feb. 10 HARTFORD, CT XL Center
Fri., Feb. 12 PHILADELPHIA, PA Wells Fargo Center
Tue., Feb. 16 SUNRISE, FL BB&T Center
Thu., Feb. 18 ATLANTA, GA Philips Arena
Sun., Feb. 21 LOUISVILLE, KY Yum! Center
Tue., Feb. 23 CLEVELAND, OH Quicken Loans Arena
Thu., Feb. 25 BUFFALO, NY First Niagara Center
Sat., Feb. 27 ROCHESTER, NY Blue Cross Arena
Mon., Feb. 29 ST. PAUL, MN Xcel Energy Center
Thu., Mar. 3 MILWAUKEE, WI BMO Marris Bradley Center
Sun., Mar. 6 ST. LOUIS, MO Chaifetz Arena
Thu., Mar. 10 PHOENIX, AZ Talking Stick Resort Arena
Sun., Mar. 13 OAKLAND, CA Oracle Arena
Tue., Mar. 15 LOS ANGELES, CA L.A. Sports Arena
Thu., Mar. 17 LOS ANGELES, CA L.A. Sports Arena

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