If I Was A River

Willie Nile

River House Records, 2014


REVIEW BY: David Bowling


For close to the last 40 years, Willie Nile has been an American rocker, pure and simple. That’s what makes his latest studio album so unique and ultimately interesting. He has traveled in a different direction with his new release, which is an album of original piano tunes.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

During the course of his career, he has been one of the more passionate rock ‘n’ rollers on the music scene, but now, his emphasis has shifted to a gentle and melodic sound that keeps the emphasis directly on his lyrics.

Nile’s approach is sitting at the piano, with minimal accompaniment, and presenting his songs in a laidback and intimate fashion. He basically keeps it as simple as possible, which benefits the material. His chief contributors are guitarist/keyboardist Steuart Smith and mandolin/acoustic guitarist/violinist David Mansfield. They are experienced enough to provide support, yet at the same time do not intrude upon the subtle nature of his performances.

While most people probably picture Nile with a guitar in his hands, he proves to be a more than capable pianist. The lyrics are strong as he explores love, loss, joy, hope, and peace but the music is softer than what he usually creates.

The use of the word river in the album title is appropriate as songs such as “Song of A Soldier,” The Ones You Used To Love,” “Let Me Be the River,” “Lullabye Loon,” and the poignant title track meander along. The music does not overwhelm the listener but rather ebbs and flows.

Only a mature and confident artist would issue album so different from his usual norm. If I Was A River finds Nile taking the road less traveled and he had his fans are the better for it.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2014 David Bowling and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of River House Records, and is used for informational purposes only.