If you don’t “feel a hell of a lot better than when you came in” after Willie Nile’s gig at BLUMartini this Saturday, Nile himself offers a money back guarantee. That is if you survive the fire.
“I think the venue and the promoter should alert the fire department that we’re gonna burn the place down,” jokes Nile. “But we’ll build it back up before we leave. We’ll raise a mighty racket.”
Nile is confident that no one will leave his show disappointed.
“It’s a night of good old rock n roll. It’s intimate, it can be deep, it can be funny, it can be poignant. We give everything. Even the walls will be rocking. If you’re not blown away, I’ll happily give you your money back.”
Willie Nile, a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, has been on stage with, toured with, and hung out with some of the greats. The Who, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Ringo Starr, and Lucinda Williams are just some of the people he jams with. Nile was born in Buffalo, NY, where he “watched a lot of Canadian TV. Buffalo news was scary, all the murders and fires. Canadian news was much less dramatic.” In the early 70s, he ended up in New York City’s famed Greenwich Village where he still lives today. Last July, Nile released his 12th studio album, Children of Paradise.
“It’s as good a record as I’ve made – humbly stated,” says Nile with a half-serious laugh. “It’s really fun to go into the studio with the team I have. I love recording. If I didn’t have to tour to make a living, I’d just make records. My favourite thing is writing songs and going into the studio to bring them to life.”
Even after more than 40 years in the rock n’ roll business, Nile is not ready to slow down.
“We just put a new video out for ‘All Dressed Up and No Place To Go,’” says Nile. “And we’re going to do another one in the next week or two for ‘Have I Ever Told You.’ Children of Paradise still has a lot of life left in it, but I have about 40 songs ready to go for my next album, or I might do an album of Celtic tunes or all cover songs.”
He’s writing as much ever, drawing inspiration from “everyday life, the shape of the world, love and loss. If I’m watching television, I’ll write about the political nonsense that’s happening in our country. I really enjoy combining these things that are happening around us with good ol’ rock n roll. I could be walking down the street, or sitting at the piano. Out of nowhere, a lightning bolt hits my brain and there’s a song. After being in the business for a while, it’s easier to know which ones to pursue and which to leave alone.”
Nile’s live show, however, is still where he puts most of his energy.
“I’ve gone on stage with a fever and I’ve burned it out by the end of the show,” says Nile. “We don’t phone it in. I’ve had this conversation with Springsteen a number of times: people come looking for ecstasy. To be inspired. To feel good, no matter what happens. If it ever gets a point where I can’t do that, I would not put myself through it, nor anyone in the audience.”
Willie Nile performs at BLUMartini this Saturday at 9 pm.