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Nils Lofgren releases songs co-written with Lou Reed 

click to enlarge Blue With Lou (Cattle Track Road Records)
  • Blue With Lou (Cattle Track Road Records)

Fabled session musician and Grin founder Nils Lofgren (a member of Springsteen’s E Street Band and Neil Young’s Crazy Horse) co-wrote a baker’s dozen of songs with Lou Reed in the late 1970s.

Three appeared on
Nils, while three appeared on Reed’s 1979 album The Bells. Now, six co-written songs are finding new interpretations on Blue With Lou (Cattle Track Road Records). Lofgren recorded the songs, along with six new compositions, in his Arizona home studio with his wife Amy Lofgren and longtime session pals Andy Newmark and Kevin McCormick. Branford Marsalis provided a sax break for the Lofgren/Reed composition “City Lights.”

Lofgren’s thin, high voice is put to good use here, while Amy Lofgren’s assistance in arranging gives all the tracks additional substance. The Lofgren/Reed songs have aged well, while the newer songs sport a 21st-century feel, and offer a tribute to departed hero Tom Petty.

Lofgren occasionally can get indulgent, with a sentimental backing choir and overwrought arrangements, but a master like Lofgren can be forgiven a bit of angst from time to time.

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