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Willie Nile Trio ~ 2014 September 7 ~ Club Passim ~ Cambridge, MA

... by Joanne Corsano ...

Willie Nile, Johnny Pisano
Willie Nile and Johnny Pisano
click thumbnail to see a photo gallery of the concert

Personnel: Willie Nile, lead vocals, acoustic guitar, piano; Johnny Pisano, bass, backing vocals; Peter Hoffman, lead guitar; Emily Hoffman, vocals on "Hit the Road Jack."

Set List

note: Willie played acoustic guitar except where noted

Dear Lord - Vagabond Moon - That's the Reason - The Innocent Ones - Holy War - Road to Calvary - Sunrise in New York City [piano] - Lost [piano; new song] - Shoulders [piano] - She's Got My Heart - Sweet Jane {Lou Reed} - American Ride - Hit the Road Jack [with Emily Hoffman on vocals] - House of a Thousand Guitars ... encore ... One Guitar

Scroll down past the videos for review.



"Hit the Road Jack"


Every show from Willie Nile & Co. is different. There were just seven songs that were repeated from my last Willie concert, June at the Narrows in Fall River. This configuration was different from the last, as well; at the last show Willie had a drummer (the superb Jon Weber), tonight he had guitarist Peter Hoffman, who, since he lives in the Boston area, often performs with the Willie Nile Band when they're in the area. Although Matt Hogan may be the Willie Nile Band's "official" lead guitarist, nobody can complain when the guy who played guitar on Willie's first two studio albums is in the house. Peter brought along his daughter Emily, who sang on "Hit the Road Jack" (as she had done once before in my experience, on July 1, 2010 at the Stearn Square Concert Series, Springfield, MA).

Willie played one new song, a lovely piano ballad called "Lost," which he says will be on a new album he is recording. His current recording plan is to do one album of mainly piano songs and another album with the full band. "Lost" was inspired by a poem called The Castaway by William Cowper. (Read the original poem here.)

Another highlight was Emily Hoffman's backing vocal on "Hit the Road Jack" (link to the video above). Everyone on stage had fun playing this number! In conversation with Emily after the show, I learned she sings in a band called The Dank Tops who play soul and R&B. Check them out!

The crowd was a little smaller than the last few times Willie has played Club Passim, since the show was scheduled just a couple of weeks ahead of the date, but they were very enthusiastic. Willie commented that just a few hours before, he and Johnny Pi had been enjoying the beach in California where they had just done a brief concert tour. No jetlag is powerful enough to slow down this dynamo of live music. One disappointment for me is that the very tasty vegetarian food that Passim used to offer is no longer available (due to the departure of the food service), but the venue is working on replacing the former food service with something else just as good.

More Willie

Here is a page with a handy list of links to all pages on this website with content relating to Willie Nile.

Click for 2014 Concert Page with links to all 2014 concerts ... Click for Main Concert Page with links to all years

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