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Nils Lofgren

While singer/guitarist Nils Lofgren is better known for his work with Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, his own solo career has produced a worthwhile, if inconsistent, body of work. Lofgren learned to play the accordion at age five and studied jazz and classical music as a child. He switched to rock guitar at 15 and formed the band Grin in 1969 with bassist Bob Gordon, drummer Bob Berberich, and later, his brother Tom Lofgren on guitar. Grin quickly built a reputation around Washington, D.C., and Neil Young and Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten caught wind of them while touring in the area. Young invited Lofgren to play piano and sing on 1970's After the Gold Rush, and he also played on and wrote two songs for Crazy Horse's debut album the following year.

Instead of remaining with Young, Lofgren used the resulting exposure to get Grin a record contract. The group recorded three albums from 1971 to 1972, garnering critical praise but no sales. A move to A&M produced the lackluster Gone Crazy, which proved to be Grin's swan song; Lofgren accepted an invitation from Young to tour in 1973 and play on his Tonight's the Night album. Grin officially disbanded in mid-1974 owing to a lack of success and financial problems. Lofgren was rumored to be under consideration as a replacement for Mick Taylor in the Rolling Stones; instead, he signed to A&M as a solo artist. His first two solo efforts, Nils Lofgren and Cry Tough, were all-around successes, and Lofgren made a name for himself on supporting tours through stunts such as performing while jumping on a trampoline.

Subsequent releases failed to develop Lofgren's sound any further, and he became more viable as a sideman than a solo performer. Following 1983's Trans tour with Young, Lofgren joined Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, replacing Little Stevie Van Zandt in 1984, remaining there until the unit was dissolved in 1991. Lofgren returned to solo recording that year with Silver Lining, which featured guest appearances from Springsteen and members of Ringo Starr's band. Acoustic Live followed in 1997. Lofgren resurfaced in 2002 with the Vision Music release Breakaway Angel, his first studio effort in six years (and also notable for his emphasis on classical harp in addition to guitar). Shine Silently, on the Spectrum label, arrived in 2004. A year later, Favorites 1990-2005, pulled mostly from Lofgren's 1991 and 1992 Rykodisc records, was released, followed by 2006's Sacred Weapon, which featured appearances from Willie Nelson, Graham Nash, and David Crosby. Lofgren's next album, 2008's The Loner: Nils Sings Neil, with Lofgren interpreting various Neil Young songs, was a wonderfully perfect idea, a way of closing the circle. Lofgren's first album of new material (he wrote 11 of the 12 tracks) in six years, Old School, appeared late in 2011, and featured guest appearances by Sam Moore, Paul Rodgers, and Lou Gramm.

In 2014, Lofgren celebrated his history with the release of Face the Music, a massive, limited-edition box set containing nine CDs and one DVD. ~ Steve Huey & Steve Leggett, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

blest811: Absolutely correct! Night After Night is outstanding. For the longest time I wanted flared jeans like the ones he's wearing on the cover! Shame it is not on CD. The official bootleg radio concert is nice but just doesn't cut it.

I'm going to take you to see.....Star Wars tonight..... . . . . . . . . . . . .
burkify
Is it me or does he sound earily similar to Neil Young? Im 'wonderin' if he sang tracks on any of neils albums?
night after night. absolutely fantastic double live album by Nils from late 70's. Eclectic but rocking.
Saw him solo in Bergen,Norwa y , in a night club. in 1999, Did acoustic and sounded like a band. The best acoustic concert I have seen. I talked to him afterwards and he sold and signed his acoustic live CD for me.I have turned on so many people with that CD. A must get is the DVD Nils Lofgren live Acoustic with friends...sk u n k Baster...
there is simply NO better or more vesitile musician and his songwriting and vocals are outstanding. b e sue to catch Nils live !!
Nils Lofgren, Rockland County, NY in the 70's..trampo l i n e ! ! that was a 1st back then and I've been a fan since...woul d love to see the live album Night after Night released on CD!
pjtrout3
Been a fan since the 80's....saw him live in Michigan in 06 (I think) with a crowd of 120.......on e of the best shows I've seen....an amazing guitarist and gifted lyricist. If you don't own Live Acoustic.... . y o u ' r e missing out. Best of Grin is a must have, too.
Bio needs an update. The E-Street Band reunited in 1999 with both Nils and Steve Van Zandt on guitars, and Lofgren has been an important part of Springsteen' s increasing variety of styles since 1984.
I met Nils as a 14yr old in '71 at a St Andrews Church (Arlington, VA) friday night dance and have loved his music ever since. His classic Keith Don't Go on the Fatman Album is rife with historical content and is a signature of his incredible talent. He is truly a rare talent that only the discerning can really appreciate.
Been a big fan since I first heard Cry Tough & Moontears!! Saw him in the mid-late 70's in a small venue on campus where he did the trampoline act....simpl y awesome! Also check out the season finally to season 4 or 5 of the Sopranos.... c l o s i n g song when Tony is walking into the adult store early in the AM....."Blac k Book"
cybermasse
I came to dance from one his early albums is great.The same goes for all of his early material.I also discovered Nils in the early 70's.I bought an album at a garage sale and have bought most of his records since.Some friends have told me they think his music is "simple".To me it is just straight forward from the heart music that is not overdone.Yes it is simple.Simpl e and easy to listen to.
heard him in London in 1982 and still love him!!!!
Been listening to Nils since 74, he is one of the few artist I can listen to all day, even after 36 years. I've never thought of him as anything other than himself, even though most like to note his Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen connections. . . and as far as that goes i can listen to more of Patti Scialfa's (springsteen ' s wife) music than the boss(Born to Run being the only exception) Check her out if you haven't already
Nils is to Bruce and Neil as Keith Richards is to Mick. (SAT test analogy question) If you take the time to download a Richards solo vocal track from the Stones recent tours, you'll note exceptional songwriting, beautiful vocals, and great musicianship . Most folks leave the arena to have a smoke when Mick leaves the stage and Keith heads to the center microphone. A mistake: check the youtube videos.

I purchased Nils old "Grin" 're-released ' cd's ten yers ago (before he joined the E Stree
saw his trampoline act winterland early seventies thought i was
halucinating
Just discovered Mr. Lofgren, really enjoy what I've heard so far, but I admit it's all been off of his newest album that Pandora has posted. The fav's at this point are 'Loner' and 'Mr. Soul,' pretty good stuff!
I've been a fan of Nils since the '70s and have never been disappointed by his work and recognize what he brought to the stage when playing with Neil Young and with Bruce Springsteen. What better testament could an artist receive than a recent statement by Neil Young about Nils......so m e t h i n g to the effect of how Nils was such a great addition to the band, but that he was always so much better than us.....
josephhfieti v
I saw Nils as the warm-up band for Boston back in the day........h e was waaaayyyy better than they were,hands down!

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