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Exclusive: Watch Willie Nile’s Tribute to Levon Helm in New Video

photo by Christina Arrigoni
photo by Christina Arrigoni


“There’s a lot going on in this world between the good, the bad and the in-between, and this album attempts to ride some of those horses,” Willie Nile says of his upcoming album World War Willie, due out April 1st via River House/Virtual Label.

For Nile, 2015 was a year filled with high-profile milestones. Between performing with Bruce Springsteen a few times, honoring Pete Townshend at a Grammy/Musicares event, and the Voice of America chosing Nile’s “This Is Our Time” (from 2013’s American Rideas the title and theme song of an event in Washington, D.C. (where Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai spoke forcefully about empowering women), Nile has plenty of things to feel good about. Currently in his fourth decade of a recording career, Nile’s busy and rewarding 2015 will not slow him down in prepping for World War Willie. These songs certainly live up to Nile’s reputation as a top-notch songwriter and performer.

A wide variety of topics set the scene for World War Willie.  Planetary unity, cinematic storytelling, tongue-in-cheek humor, and humorous lyrics fill up this collection of songs. “When Levon Sings” pays a fond tribute to the spirit of the Band’s Levon Helm. To Nile, Helm is a perfect example of what’s great about this country.

“He was genuine, real, full of spunk, soul and rock n roll and could sing the birds out of the trees. His voice had it all. The ground shook when he sang. No doubt they’re nailin’ down the tables and chairs up in Heaven these days. I got to play with him one time and it was magic. God bless that man for all he gave us.

Check out the video for “When Levon Sings” below, and look for World War Willie on April 1st.

Brenda Hillegas

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