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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2013

WILLIE NILE’S AMERICAN RIDE MOVES INTO HIGH GEAR

New album by veteran rocker and “songwriter’s songwriter”
coming on Loud & Proud Records through RED Distribution June 25

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Anyone who’s paid attention to his recent output knows that Willie Nile is currently in the midst of a creative renaissance that’s produced some of the most compelling music of his 35-year career. The tradition continues with his forthcoming American Ride, due out June 25, 2013 on Loud & Proud Records, where Nile becomes the first artist released under the label’s new deal with RED Distribution.

Originally set to be released independently following a resounding PledgeMusic.com campaign, Loud & Proud president Tom Lipsky heard the album and approached Nile, who has not had major-label distribution since 1991.

“This is the moment that Willie has been working toward his entire career," says Lipsky. "He has enjoyed the admiration of the artist community and media for many years. American Ride, the song and the album, truly define him and his vision as an artist. Now, in partnership with Loud & Proud, it is time for the public to become involved with Willie. We look forward to helping him bring his music and his stories to fans around the world.”

The timeless qualities of melodic craft, lyrical insight and emotional engagement that have endeared Nile to listeners around the world are prominent on American Ride, which ranks among the most powerful and personally charged work of his three-and-a-half-decade recording career.

“It’s pretty rockin’ over all, but there are some left turns and right turns along the way,” Nile says of the album, which was fan-funded through Pledgemusic.com. “There are songs about the rights of man, songs about freedom, songs about love and hate, songs about loss, songs about God and the absence of God, and songs about standing up for your fellow man. It’s upbeat and full of life. I’m thrilled with how it came out.”

American Ride offers a bracing set of 11 original compositions, and one well-chosen cover, that rank with the catchiest and most vivid music that Nile’s ever delivered. From the everyday wisdom of “Life on Bleecker Street” and “Sunrise in New York City” to the broader observations of “This Is Our Time” and “Holy War” to the rock ’n’ roll abandon of “Say Hey” and the road-tripping title track, the album consistently lives up to the artist’s reputation for writing songs that are as impassioned as they are infectious, and performing them with the fervor of a true believer. Several of American Ride’s recurring themes come into focus on the last two songs, “The Crossing” and “There’s No Place Like Home,” which end the album on a note of humanistic uplift. Another highlight is a fiery reading of Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died,” recorded as a tribute to both Carroll, who passed away in 2009, and to Nile’s late brother John.

American Ride features backup from Nile’s live band — guitarist Matt Hogan, bassist Johnny Pisano, drummer Alex Alexander, and Nile on guitar and piano — along with guest appearances by Eagles’ guitarist Steuart and New York singer-songwriters James Maddock and Leslie Mendelson. Nile also worked with some notable songwriting collaborators, including Eric Bazilian of The Hooters, who co-wrote “God Laughs”; The Alarm’s Mike Peters, who contributed to the title number; and Nile’s frequent writing partner Frankie Lee, who co-wrote four tracks. The producers were team of Grammy-winner Stewart Lerman and Nile himself, with additional production by Pisano and Alexander.

Having launched his recording career at the height of the major-label era, and never comfortable with the baggage that comes along with being a major-label commodity, Nile has in recent years embraced the autonomy and freedom of his current indie status. To bring American Ride to fruition, he decided to take his case directly to the fans, financing the album’s recording, manufacturing and promotion via the Pledgemusic.com. Fans enthusiastically rallied to the cause, and Willie far exceeded his financial goal. In the midst of these fan supported efforts, a few labels took note of Willie’s success and expressed interest in American Ride. The decision was made to partner with Loud & Proud, thereby combining strengths both sides could bring to marketing the release.

Willie Nile’s fans include Bruce Springsteen, with whom he’s guested onstage on multiple occasions, and Pete Townshend, who personally requested him as the opening act on the Who’s 1982 U.S. tour. Other avowed Nile admirers include Bono, Lou Reed, Paul Simon, Ian Hunter, Graham Parker, Jim Jarmusch, Adam Duritz, Little Steven and Lucinda Williams, who once remarked, “Willie Nile is a great artist. If there was any justice in this world, I’d be opening up for him instead of him for me.”

Born into a large Irish Catholic family in Buffalo, N.Y., Willie began writing songs in his early teens. After graduating from the University at Buffalo with a B.A. in philosophy, he moved to Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. During his first winter there, he was sidelined by pneumonia. While spending nearly a year recuperating, he concentrated on honing his songwriting skills. After his recovery, Nile became a popular fixture in the Village’s folk clubs, while drawing inspiration from the emerging downtown punk scene. His budding career received a major boost from a high-profile New York Times piece by legendary critic Robert Palmer. The local buzz stoked by that story led to a deal with Arista Records, for which Nile recorded Willie Nile and Golden Down, released in 1980 and 1981, respectively. Those albums won a sizable audience and generated reams of press raves. But his progress ground to a halt after legal disputes with his label caused him to walk away from the music business, beginning a recording hiatus that lasted for nearly a decade.

Although he continued to write new material, Nile maintained a discreet distance from the spotlight until 1991, when he reemerged with a new deal with Columbia Records and a new album, Places I Have Never Been, which restored the artist to prominence with fans and critics. The following year, he went the independent route with the four-song EP Hard Times in America. Willie Nile — Archive Alive, documenting a 1980 performance in New York’s Central Park, was released in 1997. In 1998, Nile lent his unmistakable voice to the all-star concept album Largo.

In 1999, Nile’s Beautiful Wreck of the World marked the start of an exciting new chapter in his career, one in which he’s wholeheartedly embraced his new indie status to create and distribute his music free from corporate agendas. His new approach yielded substantial results, with the effort chosen as one of the year’s Top Ten Albums by critics at Billboard, The Village Voice and Stereo Review. During this period, Nile substantially stepped up his touring activities in Europe, where he’s since built a large and enthusiastic following.

The well-received Streets of New York, from 2006, ushered in the most productive and prolific period of Nile’s musical life. The CD Live From the Turning Point and the DVD Live From the Streets of New York followed in 2007 and 2008, respectively, as did another widely celebrated new studio album, House of a Thousand Guitars, and 2011’s The Innocent Ones, which won some of the most enthusiastic notices Nile’s ever received: The BBC called it “stunning . . . THE rock ’n’ roll album of the year,” and Rolling Stone included it in its “Top Ten Best Under-the-Radar Albums of 2011.” USA Today named the album’s anthemic lead track “One Guitar” as the number-one song in the nation.

“It’s been a great time,” Nile says of his recent activities. “I’ve been touring more in the last two years than in my entire career up until then. I’m in Europe four months a year and we’ve really built something solid over there. The fans are so great, so vocal, so supportive, and I’m deeply grateful to each and every one of them.”

With American Ride now a reality thanks to his — and his fans’ — efforts, Willie Nile is moving with the unmistakable momentum of a deeply accomplished artist who’s just hitting his stride.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2013

WILLIE NILE’S AMERICAN RIDE MOVES INTO HIGH GEAR

New fan-financed album by veteran rocker
and “songwriter’s songwriter”
coming on April 30 — with or without a label!

NEW YORK, N.Y. — When Willie Nile recently sought help in underwriting his new album American Ride — out on April 30, 2013 on his own River House Records — with a fundraising campaign on pledgemusic.com, his fans turned out in huge numbers, reaching his goal amount in a mere four days and ultimately exceeding it.

Anyone who’s familiar with the New York-bred singer-songwriter’s large and impressive body of work will have no trouble understanding why he commands such devotion and loyalty from his fan base. And anyone who’s paid attention to his recent output knows that Nile is currently in the midst of a creative renaissance that’s produced some of the most compelling music he’s ever made.

The timeless qualities of melodic craft, lyrical insight and emotional engagement that have endeared Nile to listeners around the world are prominent on American Ride, which ranks among the most powerful and personally charged work of his three-and-a-half-decade recording career.

“It’s pretty rockin’ overall, but there are some left turns and right turns along the way,” Nile says of the album. “There are songs about the rights of man, songs about freedom, songs about love and hate, songs about loss, songs about God and the absence of God, and songs about standing up for your fellow man. It’s upbeat and full of life. I’m thrilled with how it came out.”

American Ride offers a bracing set of 11 original compositions, and one well-chosen cover, that rank with the catchiest and most vivid music that Nile’s ever delivered. From the everyday wisdom of “Life on Bleecker Street” and “Sunrise in New York City” to the broader observations of “This Is Our Time” and “Holy War” to the rock ’n’ roll abandon of “Say Hey” and the road-tripping title track, the album consistently lives up to the artist’s reputation for writing songs that are as impassioned as they are infectious, and performing them with the fervor of a true believer. Several of American Ride’s recurring themes come into focus on the last two songs, “The Crossing” and “There’s No Place Like Home,” which end the album on a note of humanistic uplift. Another highlight is a fiery reading of Jim Carroll’s “People Who Died,” recorded as a tribute to both Carroll, who passed away in 2009, and to Nile’s late brother John.

American Ride features backup from Nile’s live band — guitarist Matt Hogan, bassist Johnny Pisano, drummer Alex Alexander, and Nile on guitar and piano — along with guest appearances by Eagles/Rosanne Cash guitarist Steuart Smith and New York singer-songwriters James Maddock and Leslie Mendelson. Nile also worked with some notable songwriting collaborators, including Eric Bazilian of The Hooters, who co-wrote “God Laughs”; The Alarm’s Mike Peters, who contributed to the title number; and Nile’s frequent writing partner Frankie Lee, who co-wrote four tracks. The release was produced by the team of Grammy-winner Stewart Lerman (who has worked with Nile since the ’90s), and Nile himself. Additional production by Pisano and Alexander.

Having launched his recording career at the height of the major-label era, and never comfortable with the baggage that comes along with being a major-label commodity, Nile has in recent years embraced the autonomy and freedom of his current indie status. To bring American Ride to fruition, he decided to take his case directly to the fans, financing the album’s recording, manufacturing and promotion via the aforementioned pledgemusic.com campaign.

“The record business is completely changed from what it was when I started,” he observes. “Artists can be independent now and make music on their own terms, and I love the freedom of that. I’ve been very fortunate in that fans and friends have been getting behind the work I’ve been doing, and it’s amazing and heartening to get that kind of support.”

Willie Nile’s fans include Bruce Springsteen, with whom he’s guested onstage on multiple occasions, and Pete Townshend, who personally requested him as the opening act on the Who’s 1982 U.S. tour. Other avowed Nile admirers include Bono, Lou Reed, Paul Simon, Ian Hunter, Graham Parker, Jim Jarmusch, Adam Duritz, Little Steven and Lucinda Williams, who once remarked, “Willie Nile is a great artist. If there was any justice in this world, I’d be opening up for him instead of him for me.”

Born into a large Irish Catholic family in Buffalo, N.Y., Willie began writing songs in his early teens. After graduating from the University at Buffalo with a B.A. in Philosophy, he moved to Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. During his first winter there, he was sidelined by pneumonia. While spending nearly a year recuperating, he concentrated on honing his songwriting skills. After his recovery, Nile became a popular fixture in the Village’s folk clubs, while drawing inspiration from the emerging downtown punk scene. His budding career received a major boost from a high-profile New York Times piece by legendary critic Robert Palmer, who called Nile “an exceptional talent” and “one of the most gifted singer-songwriters to emerge from the New York scene in years.”

The local buzz stoked by the Times story led to a deal with Arista Records, for which Nile recorded Willie Nile and Golden Down, released in 1980 and 1981, respectively. Those albums won a sizable audience and generated reams of press raves, with one critic likening Nile to a “one-man Clash,” and another calling his debut effort “one of the most thrilling post-Byrds folk-rock albums of all time.” But his progress ground to a halt after legal disputes with his label caused Nile to walk away from the music business, beginning a recording hiatus that lasted for nearly a decade.

Although he continued to write new material, Nile maintained a discreet distance from the spotlight until 1991, when he reemerged with a new deal with Columbia Records and a new album, Places I Have Never Been, which restored the artist to prominence with fans and critics. The following year, he went the independent route with the four-song EP Hard Times in America. Willie Nile — Archive Alive, a vintage document of a 1980 performance in New York’s Central Park, was released in 1997. In 1998, Nile lent his unmistakable voice to the all-star concept album Largo.

In 1999, Nile released Beautiful Wreck of the World, which marked the start of an exciting new chapter in his career, one in which he’s wholeheartedly embraced his new indie status to create and distribute his music free from corporate agendas. His new approach yielded substantial results, with Beautiful Wreck of the World chosen as one of the year’s Top Ten Albums by critics at Billboard, The Village Voice and Stereo Review. During this period, Nile substantially stepped up his touring activities in Europe, where he’s since built a large and enthusiastic following.

The well-received Streets of New York, from 2006, ushered in the most productive and prolific period of Nile’s musical life. The CD Live From the Turning Point and the DVD Live From the Streets of New York followed in 2007 and 2008, respectively, as did another widely celebrated new studio album, House of a Thousand Guitars, and 2011’s The Innocent Ones, which won some of the most enthusiastic notices Nile’s ever received.

The BBC called The Innocent Ones “stunning . . . THE rock ’n’ roll album of the year,” and Rolling Stone included it in its “Top Ten Best Under-the-Radar Albums of 2011.” USA Today named the album’s anthemic lead track “One Guitar” as the number-one song in the nation. It was also one of five songs chosen to be played on Occupy Wall Street’s 1000-guitar march, alongside Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.”

“It’s been a great time,” Nile says of his recent activities. “I’ve been touring more in the last two years than in my entire career up until then. I’m in Europe four months a year and we’ve really built something solid over there. The fans are so great, so vocal, so supportive, and I’m deeply grateful to each and every one of them.”

With American Ride now a reality thanks to his — and his fans’ — efforts, Willie Nile is moving with the unmistakable momentum of a deeply accomplished artist who’s just hitting his stride.

“People who’ve heard this album say it’s as good a record as I’ve ever made, and I don’t disagree,” he states, adding, “I definitely think it’s as good a collection of songs as I’ve put together. I’m still learning as I go, and it gets easier every time in. I still love what I do and I’m probably feeling more inspired now than I ever have. I really do feel like I’m just getting started.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2011


WILLIE NILE’S THE INNOCENT ONES
TO FINALLY SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY IN THE U.S.

The album, widely acclaimed in Europe, was co-produced by Nile, collaborator Frankie Lee, noted producer Stewart Lerman and Eagles/Rosanne Cash guitarist Steuart Smith.

NEW YORK, N.Y. — “This is as good a record as I’ve ever made,” Willie Nile says of his new release The Innocent Ones. That’s saying a lot, considering the amount of indispensable music that the tenacious New Yorker has produced over his long and eventful career. The CD, which long eluded the American market except as an import and the odd merch table, has a U.S. brick-and-mortar street date of November 22, 2011.

In that time, Nile has survived life as a Next Big Thing, walked away from the major-label world twice, and reinvented himself as a scrappy DIY artist. Along the way, he’s built a deeply impressive body of recordings, earned the loyalty of a devoted worldwide fan base, and amassed an extensive backlog of effusive critical acclaim.

Willie Nile is both a songwriter’s songwriter and an impassioned performer whose stirring, personally charged rock ’n’ roll marks him as a true believer. His compositions are as impassioned as they are infectious, and he performs them with a fervor that matches their melodic craft and lyrical insight.

The ranks of Willie Nile’s fans include Bruce Springsteen, who has invited him to perform with the E Street Band on multiple occasions, including a pair of historic shows at New York’s Shea Stadium and Giant Stadium, and Pete Townshend, who personally requested him as the opening act on The Who’s 1980 U.S. tour. Other avowed Nile admirers include Bono, Lou Reed, Graham Parker, Ian Hunter, Jim Jarmusch, Adam Duritz, Little Steven and Lucinda Williams, who once remarked, “Willie Nile is a great artist. If there was any justice in this world, I’d be opening up for him instead of him for me.”

The Innocent Ones decisively demonstrates that, more than 30 years into his recording career, Willie Nile is at the top of his game, making music that’s as powerful as anything in his esteemed catalog. The album, recorded in New York and Hoboken with such longtime cohorts as songwriting collaborator Frankie Lee, noted producer Stewart Lerman and Eagles/Rosanne Cash guitarist Steuart Smith, has already won considerable praise from critics and fans overseas, where BBC Radio Scotland recently named it Album of the Week, calling it “stunning . . . THE rock ’n’ roll album of 2011!,” and JAM magazine proclaimed it to be “full of timeless songs
. . . passionate . . . romantic . . . stupendous,” and called Nile “one of the best American singer-songwriters of our time.”

Those raves are borne out on such new tunes as “Singin’ Bell,” a bracing anthem that the artist describes as an effort to filter the populist sentiment of Pete Seeger through the in-your-face sensibility of the Ramones, and the album’s moving title track, on which Nile draws upon some harsh truths to create an uplifting rock anthem.

“This album,” he says, “includes a number of songs dedicated to the downtrodden, the forgotten, the outcasts, the hopeless — the innocent ones. It deals with some heavy issues here and there, but at the same time I think it’s an upbeat, feel-good record. I wanted it to be light on its feet and fun to listen to, and it’s all that.”

Another album track that holds particular significance for Nile is “One Guitar,” a moving ode to music’s ability to heal and inspire. “It’s about what one guitar and one voice can do to help change the world,” the artist asserts. The response that the song has already received from audiences, critics and fellow artists has inspired Nile to create the One Guitar Campaign (oneguitar.org), a collaborative charitable initiative. The One Guitar Campaign encourages other artists to record their own rendition of the song, with the various versions being sold as downloads on iTunes, and the net profits donated to a variety of worthy charitable causes.

His passionate belief in the power of music has been a cornerstone of Nile’s life since his childhood. Born into a large Irish Catholic family in Buffalo, NY, he began playing piano at the age of eight, and within a few years had begun writing his own songs. After graduating from the University at Buffalo with a B.A. in Philosophy, he moved to Greenwich Village. He was initially sidelined in New York by bouts with pneumonia and mono, which put him out of commission for a couple years. While recuperating, he concentrated on honing his songwriting skills.

After recovering, Nile became a popular fixture in the Village’s folk clubs, while drawing energy from the emerging downtown punk scene. An extended residency at the Bleecker Street club Kenny’s Castaways led to a high-profile piece by legendary New York Times critic Robert Palmer, who called Nile “an exceptional talent” and “one of the best singer-songwriters to emerge from the New York scene in a long time.”

The Times piece led to a record deal with Arista Records, for which Nile recorded a pair of albums, Willie Nile and Golden Down, released in 1980 and 1981, respectively. Those albums won a sizable audience and established Nile as a major talent, with one critic calling his debut effort “one of the most thrilling post-Byrds folk-rock albums of all time.” But his career momentum took a dive when legal disputes with his label caused him to walk away from the music business, beginning a recording hiatus that lasted nearly a decade.

Although he continued to write, Nile maintained his distance from the spotlight until 1991, when he reemerged with a new deal with Columbia Records and a new album, Places I Have Never Been. That album, which featured guest appearances by Roger McGuinn, Richard Thompson and Loudon Wainwright III, restored Nile to prominence with fans and critics. The following year, he went the independent route with the four-song EP Hard Times in America. 1997 saw the release of Willie Nile — Archive Alive, which documented a 1980 performance in New York’s Central Park. In 1998, Nile lent his unmistakable voice to the all-star concept album Largo, alongside the likes of Levon Helm, Carole King, Cyndi Lauper and Taj Mahal.

In 1999, Nile released Beautiful Wreck of the World, which launched an exciting new chapter in his career, one in which he’s embraced independent status to create and distribute his music on his own terms. His new approach yielded substantial results, with the disc chosen as one of the year’s Top Ten Albums by critics at Billboard, The Village Voice and Stereo Review. By that point, Nile had substantially stepped up his touring activities in Europe, where he’s built a large and enthusiastic following in several countries.

2005’s Streets of New York, acclaimed by many longtime fans as his most potent work to date, ushered in the busiest and most productive period of Nile’s long career. Graham Parker called the disc “a real gem . . . Stirring melodies, passionate vocals, intriguing lyrics — every track a winner,” and Lucinda Williams was moved to note, “If there was any justice in this world, I’d be opening up for him instead of him for me.” The CD Live From the Turning Point and the DVD Live From the Streets of New York followed in 2007 and 2008, respectively. His widely celebrated collection of new songs in 2009, House of a Thousand Guitars, inspired UNCUT to liken him to a “one-man Clash,” and Power Pop to rave, “The title song references Hendrix, Dylan, The Stones, Lennon, and John Lee Hooker, and manages the incredible feat of living up the best of every one of them!”

That ongoing burst of creative momentum continues with The Innocent Ones, which makes it clear that, after more than three decades of music-making, Willie Nile remains as much of a believer as ever. “There have been some tough times, but overall I think that taking the long road has been a good thing,” he reflects. “The same fire and passion that I felt when I first came to New York City still burns as bright, and maybe even brighter, now.” I love what I do. I’m writing all the time and still have ideas coming out of my ears. It feels like I’m just getting started, and I look forward to the days ahead and the adventures to come.”

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