It’s been a while since the last ‘retro Friday’ video but it makes a comeback today with the great guitar-maestro Nils Lofgren. Lofgren is well-known and respected as a band member for Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Ringo Starr but his solo material is essential listening too. Lofgren is a stunning live performer, playing multiple instruments with a sense of joy and freedom. Most recently, you can discover the energy of his shows on the 2020 live album ‘Weathered’. His guitar-skills are other-worldly. However, there is so much more to Lofgren: excellent song-writing, a beautiful voice and, back in the day, athletics on stage.
This rocking song, ‘Back it Up’, is from Lofgren’s self-titled 1975 debut solo album and it showcases Lofgren’s outstanding guitar-playing. His solos are organic, natural-feeling extensions of the song, full of startling, fast-fingers, melodious waves and surprising sonic delights. Indeed, some of the sounds he generates are incredible and distinctive. There’s a fabulous moment, halfway through this performance, when Nils and his brother, Tom, play one another’s guitars. It’s great showmanship and part of the energy and absorbing musicianship we’ve come to expect from Lofgren. In the extensive notes accompanying Lofgren’s career-collecting box-set ‘Face the Music’, he says of this song: “One of my better pop rock riffs. Stayed in the live shows a long time.” Written while living in a beach shack in Malibu, I think you can just about hear the sunshine, sand and ocean waves in this joyful music. We’re looking forward to seeing Lofgren return with the E Street Band in 2023 but, in the meantime, check this out.