The Willie Nile Duo ~ 2011 May 7 ~ One Longfellow Square, Portland, ME
Band personnel: Willie Nile (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, electric piano); Johnny Pisano (backing vocals, bass guitar)
Scroll down past the videos for review; photo gallery to the right.
Willie Nile and his bass player, Johnny Pisano, played a duo show at One Longfellow Square, an excellent venue where they really know their music, in the surprisingly hip small city of Portland, Maine.
The absence of any other musicians put the pressure on Johnny, and that debonaire star of stage and screen (or at least sometimes TV extra) rose to the challenge, playing very lead-like riffs on his bass guitar. Johnny is also the perfect backing vocalist for Willie, as their voices blend well together and Johnny has a lot of power and tone in his singing. Willie played an electric keyboard on a number of the songs. The stripped down musical approach worked amazingly well. It occurred to me that Willie Nile owes a great deal to the folk realm. Not only did he not object to One Longfellow's usual format of taking an intermission (which is normally a folk thing, not a rock thing), but he was perfectly able to fill the room with sound from just two musicians. Many of Willie's songs owe a real debt to folk ideas, and although you'll find him filed under "rock" in the record store, he can convince me that he belongs in both universes.
Click for 2011 Concert Page with links to all 2011 concerts ... Click for Main Concert Page with links to all years
Here is a page with a handy list of links to all pages on this website with content relating to Willie Nile.