Sunday, December 29, 2013

From Ear to Ear!

Still wandering around the internets, I stumbled upon Nils Lofgren’s old band, Grin.  I’d mostly heard Nils  on Neil Young albums, as part of Crazy Horse, with Bruce Springsteen and as a solo artist.
But never his earliest - and some would say best - period. It turns out that some are right.

This is pre-solo, pre-Bruce, sort of pre-Neil, back when he could backflip without the trampoline.
And as much as I enjoyed his first solo record, and his contributions to other artists, this record manages to be a revelation. Nils has a sweet voice, plays a razorsharp guitar and - writes some great, melodic songs.  And rockers, too!

You might find the first listen questionable. The first song, especially, where Nils’ brother Tom, sounding a hundred years old, accompanied by a country western piano, kicks off  “Everybody’s Missing the Sun” . But don’t worry, just when you think you’ve bought the wrong album, Nils jumps in, singing the melody he’s been holding back just for that moment, and a wave of warmth washes over you!  
I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t know how good a songwriter Nils was.  Even the Jaybee-Brother-annoying 1975 solo record wasn’t as good as this softer and sweeter side.  The guitar’s as good as ever, too. A
When to Play It: Any old time.
When NOT to Play It: Around young people.

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