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.