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Willie Nile Trio ~ 2013 March 9 ~ Club Passim ~ Cambridge, MA

... by Joanne Corsano ...

Willie Nile and Johnny Pisano
Willie Nile and Johnny Pisano
Click on the picture
for a photo gallery of the concert

Willie Nile on lead vocals, acoustic guitar, and piano; Johnny Pisano on bass and backing vocals; Peter Hoffman on lead guitar

Set List

note: songs from American Ride (Willie's upcoming album) are marked with {AR}.
Every Time the World Turns Around - Far Green Hills - There's No Place Like Home {AR} - She's Got My Heart {AR} - Life on Bleecker Street {AR} - American Ride {AR} - Sing Me A Song - Sunrise in New York City {AR} (piano) - Yesterday's Dreams (piano) - The Crossing {AR} (piano) - Not Fade Away {Buddy Holly, but performed in the style of the Rolling Stones} - Holy War {AR} - The Innocent Ones - House of a Thousand Guitars - Les Champs-Élysées {with harmonica player Hank B.} - Doomsday Dance {with harmonica player Hank B.} - One Guitar ... encore ... Road to Calvary - I Want To Be Sedated {The Ramones}

Scroll down past the videos for review; click to the right for photo gallery.


"Far Green Hills":

"Les Champs-Élysées":

Concert Review

Back to Harvard Square's historic Club Passim for their delicious vegetarian food and Willie's third performance at this club. Willie was accompanied by the tanned Johnny Pisano on bass and backing vocals and by Peter Hoffman, whose guitar playing livened up the set, especially on some of the early songs. Just as he had done in Portland the night before, Willie selected several songs from the upcoming record, American Ride, to be performed for the sold-out and very enthusiastic crowd. These included another that was new to me called "Life on Bleecker Street," in which this most-New-York of New York singer/songwriters paints a word picture of the world just outside his door.

Willie was in a splendid mood, mentioning his upcoming gigs at the South-by-Southwest music festival, and using words like "righteous" and "Biblical" to describe recent experiences. The show in Portland last night was excellent, but this one was even better, with a higher energy level, partly resulting from the presence of a lead guitarist, partly due to the sold out crowd, but probably mostly due to Willie's frame of mind. He pranced around the stage with his Gibson acoustic guitar, pointing it at the other musicians, playing on his knees, gesturing madly to the crowd for singing along, and generally whipping up a frenzy of musical joy. As always in a Willie Nile show, the mood of the songs swung from contemplative and heartfelt to raucous and uplifting. A harmonica player named Hank joined in for two songs ("Les Champs-Élysées" and "Doomsday Dance") adding to the musical excellence of the show.

The main set ended with the iconic "One Guitar," leaving the encore set available to summarize, in two songs, the moods of the entire show, with the serious, beautiful "Road to Calvary" followed by a 180-degree turn to a stompin' cover of "I Want To Be Sedated."

More Willie

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