Willie Nile is one of our favorite singer/songwriters ‘round these parts. Ever since hearing Nile’s 1980 self-titled debut album, and his sophomore follow-up, 1981’s Golden Down, the Reverend has been a fan of Nile’s erudite lyricism and rockin’ melodic sense, which always roars out of the speakers like truth from the horn of Jericho.
We live in troubled times, but thankfully Nile is coming along just in time with a new album, Children of Paradise, to be released on July 27th, 2018 on Nile’s on River House label. In a press release for Children of Paradise Nile says, “I made this album because I needed a pick-me-up from the blues that’s all around us. The music always lifts my spirits, and that’s what these songs do for me and it’s why I wrote them. Hopefully they can lift others’ spirits as well.”
Children of Paradise offers a dozen new original songs, Nile’s intelligent lyrics combined with a gritty rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack. The album was co-produced by Nile and Grammy™ Award winner and longtime collaborator Stewart Lerman (who has also worked with Elvis Costello and Patti Smith, among others). The album includes such timely songs as “Seeds of A Revolution,” “All Dressed Up and No Place To Go,” “Don’t,” “Earth Blues, and “Getting’ Ugly Out There.” Nile wrote “Lookin’ For Someone” with his friend Andrew Dorff, who has written country hits for artists like Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney. Dorff died unexpectedly after the two finished the song, and Nile has dedicated Children of Paradise to his late friend.
Nile plays acoustic and electric guitars and piano on Children of Paradise, and is joined in the studio by members of his live band – guitarist Matt Hogan, bassist Johnny Pisano, and drummer Jon Weber. Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Steuart Smith and keyboardist Andy Burton also lent their talents to the sessions, and backing vocals on the songs are provided by James Maddock, Leslie Mendelson, and Frankie Lee. Nile, needless to say, is pleased with the resulting album, saying, “it’s one of my personal favorites for sure.”
“I thought from the time I started putting this album together that it was going to be something special,” muses Nile. “It’s full of fire and passion and spirit, and it feels like real life to me. The songs come out of the box roaring and rocking, yet there are also songs of intimacy and tenderness. It’s got all the power and promise of what I love best about rock ‘n’ roll. It’s heartfelt, pissed off, in love, on fire and out of its mind all at the same time. A perfect recipe for a good party and a great album…”
Also on That Devil Music:
Q5: Willie Nile talks about Bob Dylan
Willie Nile - Positively Bob: Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan CD review
Willie Nile - Beautiful Wreck of the World CD review