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Nils Lofgren - Mountains (Album Review)

Thursday, 03 August 2023 Written by Jack Terry

Photo: Carl Schultz

Aged 72, and with and more than 50 years on the road alongside Neil Young in Crazy Horse and as a key member of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band, Nils Lofgren has a reputation as one of the most prolific workhorses in classic rock. 

Along the way, he’s added detours that roadmap with numerous solo releases that have allowed him to take the spotlight and put his songwriting, guitar playing and soulful singing front and centre. That’s just how it is on ‘Mountains’, which showcases the chops that have made him a go-to sideman for superstars.

Lofgren enlists the help of friends in high places, with Young featuring on Nothin’s Easy (For Amy) and the since-departed David Crosby on I Remember Her Name, while Ringo Starr plays on Ain’t The Truth Enough and sings on We Better Find It.

But this is assuredly Lofgren's time in the spotlight, and while he may not bring techniques to the table that you can’t find elsewhere, there are few that perform with his heart and verve.

Even through the more solemn numbers like Won’t Cry No More, which is dedicated to the late Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, or broaching topics like the January 6 Capitol attack,  there is a lightness to Lofgren’s writing that makes ‘Mountains’ a breeze. 

Only Ticket Out is an unapologetic ‘80s inspired anthem to blare out in the summer sun, Only Your Smile might soundtrack a cosy evening in and I Remember Her Name is a beautifully told story of rekindled connections and true love.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but Lofgren has everything he needs to give us yet more accomplished heartland rock that tugs at your heartstrings and lifts you up in equal measure. This is him at his solo best.


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