Willie Nile is a hard-working rock ’n’ roll troubadour called “the unofficial poet laureate of New York City” (Uncut). The New Yorker hailed Nile as “One of the most brilliant singer-songwriters of the past 30 years.”
While many of us struggled to salvage a sense of purpose from a year’s worth of isolation, Nile tapped into his own lockdown experience as a source of inspiration for the set of haunting new songs that comprise his emotion-charged release, “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” Although the veteran singer-songwriter borrowed its title from the 1951 science-fiction movie classic, the album was actually inspired by the sight of Nile’s beloved hometown temporarily turned into a desolate ghost town, thanks to COVID-19 safety precautions.
The title became the jumping-off point for one of the most powerful and personal albums of Nile’s long and prolific career. Indeed, The Day the Earth Stood Still — his 14th studio effort — features 11 new original compositions that exemplify the artist’s trademark mix of romance, idealism and humor, channeling a true believer’s passionate affirmation of life, love and rock ’n’ roll.
Nile’s dual passions for life and music has fueled his long-running musical career, which took off after the Buffalo, N.Y. native made his way to New York City in the early 1970s. After establishing himself as a popular performer on the downtown club scene, Nile attained national status with a trio of widely acclaimed major-label albums before going the indie route with a lengthy series of acclaimed independent releases. Releasing albums and touring internationally on his own terms has allowed Nile to expand his loyal fan base to encompass much of the planet. His longtime admirers include Bruce Springsteen, with whom Nile has guested onstage on multiple occasions, and Pete Townshend, who personally requested him as the opening act on the Who’s historic 1980 U.S. tour. The list of avowed Nile fans also includes Bono, Lou Reed, Ian Hunter, Graham Parker, Jim Jarmusch, Little Steven, and Lucinda Williams, who once remarked, “Willie Nile is a great artist. If there was any justice in this world, I’d be opening up for him instead of him for me.”
Photo by Cristina Arrigoni
Tickets $35 advance, $40 door