Willie Nile's 'Streets of New York'
Willie Nile has completed Streets of New York, his first album since 1999’s acclaimed Beautiful Wreck of the World. In what U2’s Bono has called “a great album . . . the songs all stand on their own, ” Nile has crafted what many feel is the best album of his career. The album is set for a January 31 street date, launching the new Brooklyn-based 00:02:59 label, distributed by Sony BMG Distribution.
In making Streets of New York, Nile turned to some friends for help. Jakob Dylan and Rami Jaffee of the Wallflowers appear on the songs “The Day I Saw Bo Diddley in Washington Square” and “Game of Fools.” Larry Campbell, formerly of Bob Dylan’s band, played on various songs. The band heard on every track on the album features Andy York (John Mellencamp, Mary Lee’s Corvette), Brad Albetta (Rufus and Martha Wainwright) and Rich Pagano (Fab Faux, Rosanne Cash).
The album contains 13 original tracks plus a cover of The Clash’s version of Eddy Grant’s “Police on My Back.” The song “Cell Phones Ringing (in the Pockets of the Dead)” was written in honor of the victims of the Madrid train bombings, though there always seems to be new tragedy for which it’s appropriate.
In the 1980s, Nile released two critically acclaimed albums on Arista - Willie Nile and Golden Down - and toured successfully with The Who across the US at the personal request of the band.
The New York Times called him “one of the most gifted singer-songwriters to emerge from the New York scene in years.” He has been called everything from “a one-man Clash” to “the next Bob Dylan.” His Columbia CD Places I Have Never Been contained the hits “Everybody Needs A Hammer” and “Heaven Help The Lonely, ” and his Hard Times in America EP became a cult favorite throughout Europe. His songs have been recorded by numerous artists in many languages and his live performances are legendary.
Willie Nile will tour late winter and into spring of 2006, including a probable stop at SXSW. The album kicks off the 00:02:59 label (pronounced “two minutes fifty-nine”), which can be found on the web at www.2minutes59.com. The name comes from a lyric in the song “Hitsville UK” from The Clash’s Sandinista! album. The song describes a perfect record label where it is all about the music – and where everyone gets along: “the band went in and knocked ‘em dead in 2 minutes 59.”
00:02:59 founder Abe Bradshaw worked at Sanctuary Records, where he tried for a year and a half to get Willie Nile signed. When he was told the label would not be signing Nile, he left to launch a label with Nile as his mission statement of quality. Bradshaw is also a veteran of BMG Distribution.
According to Bradshaw, “I have been a fan of Willie Nile for a long time...and I am honored to have him as the first release on 00:02:59. Streets of New York sets the bar extremely high for all of my future releases.”
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