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Nils Lofgren On 'Weathered' and the Pandemic

Posted September 2020

Lofgren Head ShotWe’re always flattered here at Boomerocity when we get to speak to an artist. Imagine the pride we feel when we get to chat with them more than once. With that in mind, you’ll understand why we’re thrilled to be speaking with Nils Lofgren for our fourth time!

This time our interview with Nils is primarily about his new live album, “Weathered”, as well as about the pandemic and how it has affected him and his family and friends.

Before you click on the audio file on the right, I want to share with you a little bit about “Weathered”.

For those of you who don’t like to read a lot, I’ll just say that the album is freakin’ awesome and well worth your investment in it.

Yeah, it’s that good.

For those of you who like more detail ahead of listening to our interview with Nils, there this:

In between E Street Band and Crazy Horse work, master rock singer songwriter-guitarist Nils Lofgren fit in his first tour  with a full band in over 15 years. Inspired by the writing with the great Lou Reed on his last studio album, Nils knew it was time. Audience and band alike sharing their souls, gifts, spirit and energy on the tour made for a fresh, new live sound for Nils. The result is in an earthy, rockin’ album that breathes life into a world temporarily void of the excitement, energy, tenderness, and spontaneity of live music during COVID-19.

The 16-track collection, entitled Weathered, and issued on Lofgren’s own Cattle Track Road Records in double-CD configuration, was produced by the musician and his wife Amy, and is due out on August 21, 2020.

It was recorded on the road during select intimate tour dates in the U.S. supporting his recent Blue With Loustudio album. “My dear friends who made that album all agreed to come. Andy Newmark, Kevin McCormick, Cindy Mizelle, and my brother Tom Lofgren joining us to form an amazing band,” notes Nils. “In preparation for the tour my wonderful wife Amy hosted us all in our home and garage studio to put the show together. Amy designed our merchandise, cooked beautiful food for us and created a safe, welcoming musical environment for all. We created the show’s foundation to work from and headed out to share this fresh, new band.”

Improvisation has always been a key element in live performances for Nils, a veteran member of some of the greatest rock bands in history, as well as an accomplished and successful solo artist. “All the band members are old friends used to being encouraged to stretch out and improvise with me,” he explains. That freedom shows throughout Weathered. “Our crew did a fabulous job getting everything right for us to do our best every night.” He continues, “Regularly hearing inspired, improvisational surprises from your fellow bandmates elevated our interaction and made for one of a kind, unique shows every night. We all thrive in a live setting and at every show, the audience kicked the music up to a special level we only reach with their contagious, inspired energy.” That comes across brilliantly on this celebratory live album.

The album contains live renditions of two of the Lou Reed/Nils Lofgren penned songs, “Don’t Let Your Guard Down” and “Give,” along with Nils’ rocking protest song “Rock or Not” and the tenderly wistful “Too Blue to Play,” all from the Blue With Loualbum. Cindy Mizelle’s heartfelt vocals complement throughout the double album, but on “Big Tears Fall” they take the lead and on the duet “Tender Love” they are especially powerful.

In addition to her soulful harmonies, you’ll also hear Cindy’s improvisational “scatting” throughout, becoming another instrument inside this stellar band. The dark, minor blues “Too Many Miles” is a wonderful example of this.

Nils pushes his electric soloing to new heights throughout. In “Give,” a co-write and timely lyric with the great Lou Reed, you’ll hear him at his improvisational best, launching into a “backwards” guitar segment, mid solo.

There’s a fabulous 14-minute-plus version of the haunting “Girl in Motion,” set up by a wonderful studio story of Ringo NilsLofgrenCOLOR3 LOStarr watching the original recording go down and offering amazing advice.

It’s very rare for Nils to get the entire band that made a studio record out on the road with him. It pays off dramatically here. Andy Newmark on drums (John Lennon, Sly Stone, David Bowie, Eric Clapton…) Kevin McCormick on bass, vocals (Crosby, Stills and Nash, Jackson Browne, Melissa Ethridge, Keb’ Mo’…) Cindy Mizelle on vocals (Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Steely Dan, Bruce Springsteen…) and Tom Lofgren on guitars, keyboards, vocals, who’s been playing with Nils since his early band Grin, combine to create a fresh, inspired take on these classic Nils songs.

weatheredcoverOrder 'Weathered' By Clicking HereWeatheredincludes “Like Rain”from Grin and seven other standards from his solo work.Nils’ brothers Mike and Mark Lofgren join the band on the Hank Williams classic “Mind Your Own Business.”The art of improvisation resurfaces during the “Jam / Papa Was a Rolling Stone,”which builds to a crescendo before his classic “I Came To Dance.”

“We kept the shows reckless and fun with a lot of jamming and interaction. Tour bussing from town to town all over America, we all brought our collective experience and love for performing to every show,” Nils reflects. “Turning up to ‘eleven’ and wailing inside this amazing band was a joy and revelation to me, having been away from playing with my own electric band for so long. Proud to share this rough and ready collection that breathes new life and inspiration into the best of my songs.

“After 51 years on the road, I’m so grateful to have been inspired by this band and our audiences as never before!”

http://www.nilslofgren.com

Joey Molland Talks About ‘Be True To Yourself’

Posted September 2020


Joey Molland Reduced 3Like all of the rest of you, I heard Badfinger hit the airwaves with a lighthearted vengeance. I was pre and early teen as the hits kept on comin’ for too few years but effortlessly burned into my mental DNA.

For me, each time I hear “No Matter What”, my mind flashes back to a family trip as where driving through West Memphis on our way back home to Phoenix from visiting our family in East Tennessee. Saddened that a fun time with family had come to an end, Badfinger brought a youthful sound of hope and lightheartedness that seemed to help ease the pain of having to say goodbye.

Whenever I have the radio on and Badfinger comes on, I turn it up just a little so that my mind can drift back to 1969 thru 1971 when innocence abounded and I had my whole life ahead of me. And though I more life behind me than ahead of me, Badfinger music still puts a smile on my face.

So it comes as no surprise that it was a genuine thrill to be able to recently chat with the remaining member of Badfinger, Joey Molland, about his new solo album, Be True To Yourself. We talked about the pandemic and its effects on Joey’s touring. More importantly, we chatted about his exciting new music.

I think you’re really going to enjoy this chat so please give it a listen. When you’re finished, click on the album cover on this page and order a copy or three of “Be True To Yourself”. It’s PHENOMENAL!

  Molland Be True To Yourself OV 402Click Here To Order Your Copies Today! 

 

Michael Cheval & His Absurdly Brilliant Works of Art

Posted September 2020

michaelchevalI’m not an art expert. I don’t even play one on TV. I’m not sure if I can articulate great art. However, as the old saying goes, I know it when I see it.

That was the case about a year or so ago when I was visiting the home of Boomerocity contributor, Jim Kroemer (see his Album Art articles on this site). While checking out his collection of collectibles, books and albums, I noticed two works of art hanging on his office walls. To learn the rest of this story, watch the video to the right.

What I will say is that the artist behind the two amazing works of art is a gentleman by the name of Michael Cheval. The more that I dug into his work, the more I dug his
story.

Here There EverywhereHere, There and Everywhere - 2019Consequently, I knew that had to interview the man. After a few months of inquiries and exchanging notes, we recently connected via a Zoom call. What a refreshing, positive experience!

Michael is a modern day Dali/Picasso - our own absurd surrealist that captures a view of culture in ways that burn themselves in our – and society’s – psyche. He has the uncanny ability to tap into our subconscious, add a big dash of absurdity, and create magnificently, beautifully brilliant worlds of art. Even If you don't consider yourself an art enthusiast, watch this interview anyway. You'll come away with a great appreciation of Michael, his work, and even of our great country.

After watching our interview with Michael Cheval, please tell your friends about it. While you are at it, check out his website, chevalfineart.com, to peruse his amazing work. While there, order a print or four and/or one of his books. After all, the holidays are just around the corner. 

Bobby Rush Is Rawer Than Raw

Posted September 2020


Bobby Rush at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, 1150 Lakeland DriveJackson, Mississippi 39216. Photos for the album "Sitting on top of the Blues." © photo by Bill SteberWe at Boomerocity fell in love with Bobby Rush when we had the opportunity to chat with him (here)shortly after his first ever Grammy win three years ago. He’s got an amazing heart and attitude in addition to his mind-blowing blues talent. We just love the guy!

Bobby recently released his latest album, Rawer Than Raw - a stripped down, acoustic tribute to the rich blues history of Mississippi featuring songs from a handful of blues greats from his adopted home state.

The record, on the 86-year-old’s own Deep Rush Records label in partnership with Thirty Tigers, is a follow-up to Rush’s Grammy-nominated 2019 album Sitting on Top of the Blues, and his first project since his acclaimed cameo in last year’s Golden Globe-nominated Eddie Murphy film hit Dolemite Is My Name.

Rawer Than Raw Cover Click On This Album Cover To Order Your Copies Today!Partly inspired by the popular series of intimate solo concerts Rush has made a mainstay of his concert calendar in the years since his first all-acoustic album (titled Raw), Rawer Than Raw casts a spotlight on five Mississippi Blues Hall of Famers: early acoustic blues greats Skip James and Robert Johnson, and Rush’s contemporaries on the music scene of the ’50s and ’60s,Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and Muddy Waters. The record features a half dozen covers of some of their best-known songs rendered in Rush’s own inimitable, acoustic style, characterized by wailing harmonica and a stomping foot to keep the rhythm. There are also five Rush originals — “Down in Mississippi,” “Let Me in Your House,” “Sometimes I Wonder,” “Let’s Make Love Again,” and “Garbage Man,” all credited under his given name, Emmett Ellis, Jr. — whose country vibe matches the songs that inspired the album.

The video to the right is a slide show over the audio of a brief conversation we recently had with the blues great. It’s worth your time listening to. After listening to it, why not go ahead and order a few copies of Rawer Than Raw. One for your own listening library and some as gifts for the upcoming holidays. You can also keep up with Mr. Rush at his website,

Tom Fuller Discusses 'Waterfall'

tomfullerlivecroppedOne thing that Boomerocity LOVES is being pleasantly and surprisingly introduced to talent we’ve not heard before – especially if they’ve been around for a while. Such is the case with “maverick pop-rock troubadour”, Tom Fuller.

If you read nothing else from this review, read these two bullet points:

  1. Boomerocity LOVES, LOVES, LOVES Tom Fuller’s “Waterfall”. We really, truly do!
  2. Buy it.

This is one of those kinds of albums that sound “classic” while having the freshness of being totally new music. Well written. Well played. Well sung. Well recorded. The whole package. Read our review of it here.

After hearing the album, Boomerocity wanted to chat with Tom to find out more about the man and his music. I called him at his home in the Chicago area and we immediately hit it off and had an amazing visit. The video to the right is of the Zoom chat we had. Check it out. After watching it, please be sure to order Waterfall by clicking on the photo of the album on the left.

We consider Tom a new, fond friend and look forward to many more years of music from him. Keep up with him like we are by visiting his website, OfficialTomFuller.com.

waterfallcover