Willie Nile (from the album Positively Bob, Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan)
It doesn’t really have its own category except in the five boroughs of The City though as a genre, New York music is certainly deserving. While many cities are responsible for growing styles in sound, New York City gave birth as a breeding ground to musical movements such as Folk, Punk, and Hip-Hop. Willie Nile has been an ambassador for NYC music since emerging as a Folk music incarnation of man and guitar in Greenwich Village during a time when Punk Rock ruled. Willie’s ability to create songs with the spit and snarl of his Lower East Side neighborhood has always been firmly in place as the troubadour’s career has been on a roller coaster ride. Willie Nile honors a fellow Village denizen as he tributes the man who brought Folk music into the age of the consumer with the recent release, Positively Bob, Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan.
Willie Nile tackles favorites from the vast catalog of Bob Dylan on Positively Bob. One of the pieces of magic that occurs in every Dylan tune is in the words and music ability to sound brand new when covered by another artist. Willie Nile stays true to recording origins with “Rainy Day Women #12 and #35” adding a bit more rock’n’roll guitar to the track while “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” keeps its Folk Rock roots, modernizing the mix with a jagged guitar riff rumbling under the melody, and keeps the course of traditions with a true-to-form version of “Love Minus Zero/No Limit”. Positively Bob opens with a revolutionary blast as Willie Nile re-makes “The Times They Are A’Changin’” into a Punk Rock rave-up. Tenderness casts a warm lovelight into Willie Nile’s version of “I Want You” as a hurricane force of a beat drives “Blowin’ in the Wind”, an electric maelstrom keeps the rhythms chaotic for “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, and California Country softens “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”. Willie Nile closes out Positively Bob, Willie Nile Sings Bob Dylan with the mildly obscure “Abandoned Love”, a track recorded and slated for release on Dylan’s Desire (1976) though it was shelved and not made available until the 1985 compilation of album recordings, outtakes, and rarities, Biograph.