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The Loner - Nils Sings Neil

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iTunes Review

Longtime Neil Young sideman pays tribute to his old boss with this acoustic collection of covers. Lofgren’s voice isn’t quite the torn and frayed instrument but he can still deliver the emotional delicacy of Young’s finest moments with the same warm definition. Perhaps most intriguing is his choice of tunes. As someone with an intimate knowledge of Young’s catalog — and someone who has played these songs alongside the man — it’s telling to see which tunes continue to resonate. “Birds,” “Like a Hurricane,” and “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” are surefire standards, but the addition of “Don’t Be Denied,” “World On a String,” “Winterlong,” and “Wonderin’” allow Lofgren to bring Young’s less known melodies and sentiments to fresh life. Not surprisingly though, these covers feel more like companion pieces to Young’s own versions. Only “Don’t Cry No Tears,” removed from its tangle of electric guitars and given a rustic acoustic run-through, is reinvented. The rest remain faithful to Young’s own idiosyncratic vision, proving Young chose the right man in Lofgren. Only question is when does Nils get around to covering his other employer, Bruce Springsteen?

Customer Reviews

Stripped Down and Beautiful...with a Better Voice

I've always respected Neil Young as a writer, but his voice made it hard for me personally to listen to all but some of his classics. Thus, I'm mostly familiar with his radio standards...several of which have found their way onto my iPod. I had a chance to hear Nils being interviewed on Dennis Miller's radio show today...talking about this album, his own musical history and with some short clips...and I could tell I was going to like this. I don't know most of these tunes yet, but this album is like a gift: the essential sound of one of the great singer-songwriters of our time with a much-needed voice replacement. These are very spare arrangements, recorded live. Just acoustic guitar or piano, and a more-than-serviceable voice...with a more than passing resemblance to Neil's own timbre. A real treat!

Soft Fun

If you go to Nils Lofgren's website you can download a free nine minute version of Like a Hurricane.

Great Stuff

The proof of the quality of these songs is that they sound great in something other than the authors voice. "Don't be Denied" is such a great song and has been unavailable for so long. Can you imagine an adolescent Neil Young as the new kid in school? Good on you Nils.


Born: June 21, 1951 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

For much of his professional rock & roll career, Nils Lofgren has been known as the lead guitarist for Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band -- the guy who replaced Steven Van Zandt in 1984 and stayed on after Little Steven returned to the fold. Prior to the E-Street Band, Lofgren was a member of Neil Young's backing band Crazy Horse, and these associations have tended to dominate any mention of the guitarist's career, as any support for two legendary singer/songwriters would. But take away Bruce and...
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The Loner - Nils Sings Neil, Nils Lofgren
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