Crazy Horse and E Street Band member Nils Lofgren has shared details of his upcoming album, Mountains, out July 21. The project’s lead single “Ain’t the Truth Enough,” available now, features Ringo Starr on drums.
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Written in the wake of the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., “Ain’t the Truth Enough” “reckons with the ways that misinformation and demagoguery can tear families apart and silo us in our own realities,” according to a descriptor on the track.
“One early desert morning, strong coffee in hand, I tuned my Martin D-35 acoustic gifted to me by the great James Caan to an open G and said write,” said Lofgren in a statement. “Soon the title and main riff were coming through me: ain’t the truth enough. Lucky me! I felt I had to go deep and with the global war on women, and man’s deadly epidemic of lies and spin for money and power.”
On the track, Cindy Mizelle, a backup singer for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band and member of the Seeger Sessions Band, also added her vocals to the song.
“I imagined a fierce, loving mother and wife dealing with a husband recently home from the insurrection,” added Lofgren of the track and Mizelle’s vocals. “I felt inspired and a day later this special song was done. Not mean-spirited, all truth, harsh reality.”
Along with Starr and Mizelle, “Ain’t No Truth Enough” features Lofrgren on vocals, lap steel, organ, and vibraphone and bassist Kevin McCormick.
The album was recorded at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. The 10-track Mountains also features contributions from the late David Crosby, Lofgren’s Crazy Horse bandmate Neil Young, jazz bassist Ron Carter, and the Howard Gospel Choir.
“These songs are all born of raw emotion,” shared Lofgren. “I gave myself permission to share my fear and my anger, my love and my hope, to be open about what I was experiencing without over analyzing or editing the life out of it.”
In making the album, which was co-produced with his wife Amy, Lofgren said he challenged himself to write every day and used it as an outlet to release his frustrations with the socio-political state of the world. “The album started as a form of therapy, but it very quickly grew beyond that,” said Lofgren. “It was so freeing to work without any restrictions, to just write whatever came out, and it turned into some of the most inspired work I think I’ve ever made.”
Mountains also features a song Lofgren notes as “for Amy” entitled “Nothing’s Easy,” along with another track, “Won’t Cry No More,” dedicated to the late Rolling Stones’ drummer Charlie Watts.
In addition to Mountains, Lofgren is also set to launch his Rockality video series, a collection of 30 to 40-minute vignettes featuring his own recounts of personal stories from his five-decade-plus career in music.
“As people seem to find my musical stories entertaining for the last half century, I thought we’d share some more with you,” said Lofgren. “From opening for Jimi Hendrix on my 19th birthday with Grin, knocking on Jimi’s trailer and getting to speak with him and thank him for inspiring me to be a professional rocker, back to my early high school drop-out, 17-year-old runaway in Greenwich Village days, walking in on Neil Young and Crazy Horse in D.C. for advice on their first tour, which lead to recording the ‘After The Gold Rush’ album at 18, I’ve had an eventful, topsy-turvy ride for 55 years now.”
Lofrgren continued, “Here’s hoping these stories may bring a smile to your face. The times were heavy and consequential. No internet, no cell phones, Vietnam war lottery, civil rights marches, Cuban missile crisis, assassinations. All during the greatest explosion of music in mankind’s history. And to boot, the greatest parents and brothers a soul could ask for, who kept a spiritual light burning, thank goodness, as I found myself on too many dark roads.”
1. “Ain’t The Truth Enough”
2. “Only Ticket Out”
3. “Back In Your Arms”
4. “Won’t Cry No More” (For Charlie Watts)
5. “Nothing’s Easy” (For Amy)
6. “Dream Killer”
7. “Only Your Smile”
8. “I Remember Her Name”
9. “We Better Find It”
10. “Angel Blues”
Photo: Carl Schultz / Courtesy of Missing Piece Group