With the E Street Band on hiatus since 2018, Nils Lofgren has had the chance to finish and release a new solo album titled Blue with Lou. The 12-track collection features five previously unreleased songs on which Lofgren collaborated with Lou Reed during a brief period in the late 1970s, as well as “City Lights,” another song the two co-wrote at the time, which Reed recorded for his 1979 album, The Bells.
“Lou Reed and I had written 13 songs together back in , and there were five left behind that I always thought maybe Lou and I would look at again,” Nils explains to ABC Radio. “[T]ragically, when Lou passed [in 2013], I knew it was my job to get ’em on this record.”
Lofgren filled out Blue with Lou with six new compositions, including the title track, which Nils says is “about Lou and what he meant to me.”
Another new tune is a tribute to Tom Petty, “Dear Heartbreaker,” which Nils says was “a beautiful accident, born of a real tragedy.”
Lofgren notes that he’d been extremely upset over Petty’s 2017 death from an accidental drug overdose, and recalls that “one day I was just kind of singing a pep talk to myself about not backing down, and keep listening to [Tom’s] music,” and before he knew it he’d written a bunch of verses.
Lofgren recorded the album at his home studio with veteran session drummer Andy Newmark and bassist Kevin McCormick, as well as with major contributions from one-time E Street Band backing vocalist Cindy Mizelle.
Nils recently launched a solo tour in support of Blue with Lou, with a backing group featuring Newmark, McCormick, Mizelle, and Lofgren’s brother and former Grin band mate, Tom Lofgren.
Here are Lofgren’s upcoming solo dates:
5/13 — Chicago, IL, City Winery
5/15 — Cincinnati, OH, Memorial Hall — Longworth-Anderson Series
5/16 — Kent, OH, Kent Stage
5/18 — Boston, MA, City Winery
5/19 — New York, NY, City Winery
5/20 — New York, NY, City Winery
5/21 — Alexandria, VA, The Birchmere
5/22 — Alexandria, VA, The Birchmere
5/24 — Nashville, TN, City Winery
5/25 — Nashville, TN, City Winery
5/26 — Atlanta, GA, City Winery
5/27 — Atlanta, GA, City Winery
5/30 — Austin, TX, 04 Center
5/31 — Houston, TX, The Heights Theater
6/1 — Beaumont, TX, Jazz & Blues Fest – Jefferson Theatre
6/2 — Dallas, TX, The Kessler Theater
And here’s the Blue with Lou track list:
“Talk Thru the Tears”*
“Rock or Not”
“Blue with Lou”
“Don’t Let Your Guard Down”*
“Too Blue to Play”
“Cut Him Up”*
* = co-written with Lou Reed.
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