UK2015 Face The Music Tour
Cattle Track Road Records
After 47 years in rock and roll, Nils Lofgren has seen it all, written about it all, and sung it all. I first fell in love with his 1976 album Cry Tough. I’ve checked in occasionally. Over the years he’s had his own band “Grin,” he’s backed Springsteen in the E-Street Band, and done his own thing to great acclaim. On this new all live album he achieves some sort of acoustic rocker godhead. His notes are complex and sharp, the melodies complicated yet accessible and his voice is mellow and has yet to take the slide 60 plus years might do to a younger, less anointed man.
The subject matter in the this 15 track collection is contemplative as well; he sings about lost friends in “Miss You C,” offers calming advice to angst ridden teens on “Walking Nerve” and plays the coolest solo on “Girl In Motion.” Then there’s the mariachi flair and soft anti-gun message of “Rusty Gun,” the deconstruction of a marriage in “Black Books” and an adaptation of a Carol King-George Geffen number “Goin’ Back.” This album comes from a live tour, he addresses the audience like old friends and many fans are old friends after touring for as long as he has. This album offers an intimate and acoustically superb effect; it’s as if the microphone and equalization was aimed squarely at us armchair fans. Nothing is amped up or reverbed out to try to fit a personal sound into a massive echo-infested basketball arena. This isn’t the heart pumping rock and roll Lofgren began with; it’s a soul wrenching rock and roll we all come to in the end.