‘Celebrate Compassion’: New York’s Willie Nile will rock Salmon Arm’s Song Sparrow Hall

New York singer-songwriter Willie Nile will be energizing Salmon Arm with big city vibes this week.

Described by Uncut Magazine as “the unofficial poet laureate of New York City”, Nile has released 12 albums since 2008, all to critical acclaim.

Rolling Stone named The Innocent Ones one of the “Top Ten Best Under-The-Radar Albums of 2011”, and BBC Radio dubbed it “Rock ‘n’ Roll Album of the Year”.

“One of the most brilliant singer-songwriters of the last 30 years,” exclaimed The New Yorker after the 2014 release of If I Was a River.

Nile has toured the United States with The Who and performed with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band. Bono, Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams, Jim Jarmusch and Little Steven also sang his praises.

Justifiably proud of his accomplishments, Nile said it was the transformative power of music that changed his life, and he is deeply grateful to be able to write, record and share his joy and ideas.

“I’m a poet who dances to the music of the sphere and tries to communicate that somehow through rock,” he said, noting that life is hard for everyone. but that music has the power to heal. “While we’re here, let’s celebrate each other’s life, honor compassion, lift each other’s hearts, lift each other up, celebrate kindness, celebrate compassion.”

Nile’s musical journey began early in a large and loving family in Buffalo, NY. He was one of eight children in a household that thrived on music, a grandfather he describes as a 20-year concert veteran, two musician uncles and an older brother who also made great music . His mother’s classic and big band favorites also filled the house.

“I learned the classical piano at eight years old, then I played the drums. I started writing songs in high school, then I went to college and picked up a guitar,” he said, recalling the days of Buddy Holly, the Beatles, the Supremes and more. others. “I saw the first waves of rock and roll.”

A 74-year-old Greenwich Village resident, Nile said he continues to be inspired by the neighborhood’s rich history and New York’s cosmopolitan flavor.

“It moves me, I can see Baker Street through my window. Bob Dylan wrote Blowing in the Wind there, that’s where Hendrix lived,” he said, thanking his parents for always welcoming foreign students, musicians and other people from different backgrounds. diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. “It was a cosmopolitan soup and we all grew up with open arms, open hearts and open minds – a great way to be.”

Excited about life, Nile maintains that his journey of discovery continues.

He said his shows were on purpose to feel good, but the lyrics have happy highs and painfully dark places.

His 2018 album Children of Paradise was inspired by the people of the streets of New York and is accompanied by his wife Christina Arrigoni’s stunning photos that capture the humanity of his subjects.

The album received accolades from American Songwriter, an industry magazine who said, “It’s another great example of everything Willie Nile does well, and this recent creative renaissance finds him in great shape. “

Nile’s latest offering, The Day the Earth Stood Still, was inspired by the unsettling silence on the streets of New York when Covid hit and fell today, August 13.

The Ted Harrison Foundation, Acoustic Avenue Music, Salmon Arm Folk Music Society and CKVS-FM 93.7 present Willie Nile in concert at Song Sparrow Hall on Tuesday, August 16 at 7:30 p.m.

NiIe will be joined on stage by Johnny Pisano on bass, Jon Weber on drums and Jimi Bones on guitar and vocals.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and barbecue food trucks will be on site. For tickets, go online at songsparrowhall.ca.

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