As a huge fan of both Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young, words simply cannot describe my excitement upon learning that Nils Lofgren’s new album The Loner - Nils Sings Neil is an all-acoustic album covering the songs of Neil Young.
The Springsteen connection of course comes by way of Lofgren’s association with Springsteen’s E Street Band, for whom Nils has played guitar since 1984’s history making Born In The U.S.A. tour. A lesser known fact to many fans is that Lofgren has put in time with Neil Young as well, playing on such classic albums as Tonight’s The Night, After The Gold Rush, as well as the artist’s 1993 Unplugged session for MTV. Lofgren has also enjoyed intermittent success as a solo artist and as a session musician, with a resume that reads a who’s who of rock and roll.
Another longtime Neil Young associate, David Briggs who passed away in 1995, even gets a production credit on The Loner, albeit a posthumous one. "I kind of produced the record through David's eyes -- that's why I gave him production credit," Lofgren recently told Billboard.com. "I've never done anything live in the studio from start to finish and left every rough edge on it. And I needed David's spirit to do that, just like when we made After the Gold Rush and Tonight's the Night with Neil."
Lofgren recorded the 15 songs on The Loner during a break in late 2007 from the current barnstorming world tour with The E Street Band for Springsteen’s certified platinum album Magic. That tour resumes this Sunday in America with a run of shows at Giants Stadium, following a just concluded string of shows in Europe.
Nils Lofgren’s The Loner can be purchased online by visiting the artist’s website. Meanwhile, Neil Young himself is said to be hard at work on the long in the works Archives retrospective series, recently updating Billboard.com with a progress report indicating a fall release is now probable (we’ll believe it when we see it). Young also revealed that contrary to prior reports, there will be standard CD and DVD releases of the set, in addition to the previously reported Blu Ray version.
Here is the complete track listing for The Loner - Nils Sings Neil:
2 Long May You Run
3 Flying On the Ground
4 I Am a Child
5 Only Love Can Break Your Heart
6 Harvest Moon
7 Like a Hurricane
8 The Loner
9 Don't Be Denied
10 World On a String
11 Mr. Soul
13 On the Way Home