Photos: Willie Nile inspires Salmon Arm audience with rocking, heartfelt performance

New York City singer/songwriter Willie Nile with lead guitarist and vocalist Jimi Bones, drummer Jon Weber and bass guitarist Johnny Pisano rock Song Sparrow Hall in Salmon Arm on Aug. 16, 2022. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)New York City singer/songwriter Willie Nile with lead guitarist and vocalist Jimi Bones, drummer Jon Weber and bass guitarist Johnny Pisano rock Song Sparrow Hall in Salmon Arm on Aug. 16, 2022. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Impressed by the quality of the piano at Song Sparrow Hall in Salmon Arm, Willie Nile puts down his guitar and moves his audience with the beauty of classical piano and compelling lyrics on Aug. 16, 2022. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)Impressed by the quality of the piano at Song Sparrow Hall in Salmon Arm, Willie Nile puts down his guitar and moves his audience with the beauty of classical piano and compelling lyrics on Aug. 16, 2022. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Willie Nile’s bass guitar player Johnny Pisano punctuates his fine bass playing with acrobatic leaps and bounds at Song Sparrow Hall in Salmon Arm on Aug. 16, 2022. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)Willie Nile’s bass guitar player Johnny Pisano punctuates his fine bass playing with acrobatic leaps and bounds at Song Sparrow Hall in Salmon Arm on Aug. 16, 2022. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Willie Nile performs with power and emotion at Song Sparrow Hall in Salmon Arm on Aug. 16, 2022. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)Willie Nile performs with power and emotion at Song Sparrow Hall in Salmon Arm on Aug. 16, 2022. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Jimi Bones on lead guitar and vocals performs a solo backed by Jon Weber on drums during Willie Nile’s concert at Song Sparrow Hall in Salmon Arm on Aug. 16, 2022. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)Jimi Bones on lead guitar and vocals performs a solo backed by Jon Weber on drums during Willie Nile’s concert at Song Sparrow Hall in Salmon Arm on Aug. 16, 2022. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Moved by a Secwépemc man he met recently who is a Kamloops residential school survivor, Willie Niles dedicated a song he’d written previously for children living in poverty to the 215 children whose burial sites were found at the former Kamloops institution in May 2021. He performed it at Salmon Arm’s Song Sparrow Hall during a concert on Aug. 16, 2022. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)Moved by a Secwépemc man he met recently who is a Kamloops residential school survivor, Willie Niles dedicated a song he’d written previously for children living in poverty to the 215 children whose burial sites were found at the former Kamloops institution in May 2021. He performed it at Salmon Arm’s Song Sparrow Hall during a concert on Aug. 16, 2022. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)

Kind, complimentary, compassionate, charismatic.

Willie Nile and his band were all that, plus more, during their well-loved concert Aug. 16 at Song Sparrow Hall in Salmon Arm.

Warning his audience that he and his band like to have fun, they proceeded to put on a rocking performance that lifted people out of their chairs and onto their feet.

Also uplifting, and penetrating, was the poetry of Nile’s lyrics.

Before playing a tune inspired by the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and his witnessing of the hauntingly empty streets of New York City, Nile recited a few of his favourite lines from The Day the Earth Stood Still.

“When the ABCs of logic, meet the CEOs of greed,

Then the SROs of loneliness cry out and start to bleed.

There comes a time for judgment, a time to pay the bill

And that is just the way it was, the day the earth stood still.”

Nile was accompanied onstage by Johnny Pisano on bass, Jon Weber on drums and Jimi Bones on lead guitar and vocals.

A performer who has opened for The Who and sung with Bruce Springsteen, Nile repeated several times how much he and his band have appreciated the kindness and cordiality of Canadians and, in particular, people in Salmon Arm. He said they’d like to return.

Read more: ‘Celebrate compassion’: New York’s Willie Nile to rock Salmon Arm’s Song Sparrow Hall

Read more: ROOTSandBLUES: Artist captivates with musical retelling of Robert W. Service poem


martha.wickett@saobserver.net
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