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The Wonder Bar presents Willie Nile on July 3rd


originally published: 06/24/2022

The Wonder Bar presents Willie Nile on July 3rd

(ASBURY PARK, NJ) -- Willie Nile returns to Asbury Park for a show at The Wonder Bar on Sunday, July 3rd at 8:00pm with Fantastic Cat opening the night. Willie is touring in support of last summer's release, The Day the Earth Stood Still. While many of us struggled to salvage a sense of purpose from a year’s worth of isolation, the veteran New York rocker tapped into his own lockdown experience as a source of inspiration for the set of haunting new songs that comprise this emotion-charged release.

Although the veteran singer-songwriter borrowed its title from the beloved 1951 science-fiction movie classic, the album was actually inspired by the sight of Nile’s beloved hometown temporarily turned into a desolate ghost town, thanks to COVID-19 safety precautions.

“It came from seeing the deserted streets of downtown Manhattan, with all the shops and stores boarded up and all these beautiful buildings looking down on everything,” Nile recalls, adding, “I have a storage space near the Holland Tunnel, and normally on a Friday night at rush hour, it can take an hour to move five blocks. But one Friday night last June, while walking home from my storage space and crossing Varick Street, I realized that there wasn’t a car in sight, and that I could have laid down in the middle of the street without anyone noticing. The title The Day the Earth Stood Still hit me, and I carried it around in my head for awhile, and eventually it sparked this set of songs.”

The title became the jumping-off point for one of the most powerful and personal albums of Nile’s long and prolific career. Indeed, The Day the Earth Stood Still — his 14th studio effort — features 11 new original compositions that exemplify the artist’s trademark mix of romance, idealism and humor, channeling a true believer’s passionate affirmation of life, love and rock ’n’ roll. Such new Nile originals as “Sanctuary,” “Expect Change” and “Way of the Heart” underline Nile’s abiding passions, while the more out-there “Off My Medication” and “Where There’s a Willie There’s a Way” (co-written by fellow musical veteran Michael Des Barres) display his self-effacing sense of humor. Nile’s hard-wired social conscience drives the heartfelt “Blood on Your Hands,” recorded as a duet with Nile’s West Village neighbor Steve Earle, and the impassioned “The Justice Bell,” inspired by Nile’s encounter with civil rights icon and U.S. Congressman John Lewis.

“I always write about the world around me, and this time around, the world around me was a little crazier than usual,” Nile observes. “These songs were inspired by the pandemic, injustice, politics, love, compassion, joy, sorrow, ignorance, human suffering, man’s inhumanity to man — the usual riddles and mysteries of life, and of course the occasional hell-raising rock ’n’ roll song or two.”



 
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Nile recorded The Day the Earth Stood Still with his longtime producer Stewart Lerman (whose other credits range from Elvis Costello to Mumford and Sons) and his longstanding live band. “We recorded this album in January 2021,” Nile notes. “We all wore masks the whole time and did our best to keep things safe. The whole band, except me, had actually caught COVID on our last gig before the pandemic hit, on February 29, 2021, but everyone recovered. I’ve made nine albums with Stewart now, and it’s always magic and always fun. This one was especially inspiring, despite the extra hassle. The basic tracks were recorded fast, and seven or eight of the songs still have the original live vocal.”

Willie Nile’s dual passions for life and music has fueled his long-running musical career, which took off after the Buffalo, N.Y. native made his way to New York City in the early 1970s. After establishing himself as a popular performer on the downtown club scene, Nile attained national status with a trio of widely acclaimed major-label albums — Willie NileGolden Down and Places I Have Never Been — before going the indie route with a lengthy series of acclaimed independent releases, including Beautiful Wreck of the WorldStreets of New YorkHouse of a Thousand GuitarsThe Innocent OnesAmerican RideWorld War WillieChildren of ParadiseNew York at Night, the acoustic If I Was a River, and the covers collection Positively Bob: Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan.

Releasing albums and touring internationally on his own terms has allowed Nile to expand his loyal fan base to encompass much of the planet. His longtime admirers include Bruce Springsteen, with whom Nile has guested onstage on multiple occasions, and Pete Townshend,who personally requested him as the opening act on the Who’s historic 1980 U.S. tour. The list of avowed Nile fans also includes Bono, Lou Reed, Ian Hunter, Graham Parker, Jim Jarmusch, Little Steven, and Lucinda Williams, who once remarked, “Willie Nile is a great artist. If there was any justice in this world, I’d be opening up for him instead of him for me.”

“I'm so proud of this album,” Nile asserts. “It was born of a pandemic nightmare, but I think that it offers hope, and passion, for better days to come. That’s what I need, as a person and an artist. And everyone brought their 'A' game to the studio. 

“I still feel as driven and inspired as I’ve ever felt, and I feel like I’m currently doing some of my best work,” Nile states. “I don’t know why the songs are still coming to me like they are. I just try to get them down as best I can. And I’m fortunate to have a great team of people around me to help bring the songs to life. Anybody who’s seen me perform with this band knows that nobody’s phoning it in, and that these guys give everything they’ve got, every show, every song, every night.”

Indeed, after more than half a century of music-making, Willie Nile continues to keep the faith. “After all these years I’m still feeling the passion and the power and the pull of rock ’n’ roll as a way out, as a vehicle that can offer salvation and redemption and joy in this crazy-ass world. Here’s to more music and magic on the road ahead!”

 

The Wonder Bar is located at 1213 Ocean Ave in Asbury Park, New Jersey.  Tickets are available for purchase online.






EVENT CALENDAR

ART | COMEDY | DANCE | MUSIC | THEATRE | COMMUNITY

The Wolves

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 @ 7:30pm
McCarter Theatre Center (Berlind Theater)
91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540
category: theatre


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The Caretaker

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 @ 7:30pm
Shakespeare Theatre Of NJ - F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre
36 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940
category: theatre


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The Wolves

Thursday, September 29, 2022 @ 7:30pm
McCarter Theatre Center (Berlind Theater)
91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540
category: theatre


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Brooklyn Rider

Thursday, September 29, 2022 @ 7:00pm
Grunin Center
1 College Drive, Toms River, NJ 08754
category: music


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The Caretaker

Thursday, September 29, 2022 @ 8:00pm
Shakespeare Theatre Of NJ - F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre
36 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940
category: theatre


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Vivid Stage presents "Soft Animals"

Thursday, September 29, 2022 @ 8:00pm
Oakes Center
120 Morris Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901
category: theatre


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Sweet Baby James

Friday, September 30, 2022 @ 8:00pm
Algonquin Arts Theatre
60 Abe Voorhees, Manasquan, NJ 08736
category: music


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The Wolves

Friday, September 30, 2022 @ 8:00pm
McCarter Theatre Center (Berlind Theater)
91 University Place, Princeton, NJ 08540
category: theatre


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OPENING NIGHT: AN EVENING WITH RENÉE ELISE GOLDSBERRY

Friday, September 30, 2022 @ 8:00pm
Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC)
100 South Street, Morristown, NJ 07960
category: music


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Joey Skaggs: Metamorphosis, Cockroach Miracle Cure, Urania Leilus, The House, Panta Rei, The Hauntings of New Hope - Shorts Program - Online for 24 Hours and In Person at 7PM!

Friday, September 30, 2022 @ 7:00pm
NJ Film Festival
71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
category: film


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Adelphi Orchestra - Love Letter to Humanity

Friday, September 30, 2022 @ 7:30pm
Fair Lawn Community Center
10-10 20th Street, Fair Lawn, NJ 07410
category: music


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The Caretaker

Friday, September 30, 2022 @ 8:00pm
Shakespeare Theatre Of NJ - F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre
36 Madison Avenue, Madison, NJ 07940
category: theatre


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