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Saturday March 6: Willie Nile

Filed under: Music
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Willie Nile, nee Robert Anthony Noonan, is one of the best songwriters ever to be born in Buffalo. Which is saying a lot, when one considers our town as the old stomping grounds of Harold Arlen. But Nile came up in the 1970s, and built an impressive reputation in Greenwich Village hootenanny clubs as an heir apparent to Bob Dylan, who’d put the whole folksinger/songwriter thing on the map a few years before. The buzz surrounding him was huge. By the time Bruce Springsteen (who’d been called the new Dylan) was hitting his stride, Nile released two records on Arista that electrified fans of energetic rock-n-roll with a literate twist. He was likened to the Clash, and went out on tour with the Who before musical legal troubles dragged down on him as his star was ascending. He would spend several years without performing or recording. After a decade out of the limelight, he released a couple more albums, and his underground fame was rekindled both here and abroad. In 2006, he released the critically acclaimed Streets of New York, and followed it up last year with House of a Thousand Guitars. By this time, his old pal Springsteen was inviting him up on stage to play at big shows with the E Street Band. Little Steven Van Sandt has said, “Willie Nile is so good I can’t believe he’s not from New Jersey!” Believe it Steven, he’s ours. Opening the show is another hometown boy, Marc Scibilia, who’s been writing songs down in Nashville.

—buck quigley

7pm doors, 8pm show. Tralf Music Hall, 622 Main St. (852-2860 / $23 presale, $27 day of show

  • Jeff Spriegel

    I have been to numerous Willie Nile shows in the area. He continues to amaze me with his energy, song writing, and performances. I have a personal bias but I believe he is at his best in his home town and with The Brother Band. This was a fluid show with Willie and his band mates at their rockin’ best. Despite suffering a leg injury while on stage with Bruce Springsteen recently, he kicked the bar stool he was supposed to sit and relax on over and leapt and jumped all over the stage throughout the concert. He played for nearly three hours and did songs from all of his albums. Willie added a few songs from an upcoming album coming out in May or June which may have been some of the best of the night. “One Guitar” and “The Innocent Ones” were the two he played from that upcoming work. I will be buying that one as soon as it comes out. Can he just continue to get better with each effort? It certainly seems so! Marc Sibilia was a pleasant surprise with his opening of the show. His sense of humor, self-deprecation, and song writing were all attention grabbing. Sadly, some of the crowd, rudely and loudly talked through his entire show perhaps in anticipation of Willie coming on!? Both Marc and Willie stayed after and signed copies of their CD’s, had pictures taken with fans, and took the time to meet fans waiting to purchase those CD’s and t-shirts. Another great night in Buffalo’s music scene. Fans of good music and the Tralf should stop by Monday nights to support the local live music scene. The sad closing of the Lafayette Tap Room is a true loss to the area’s music experience.