Willie Nile at Nashville’s City Winery

By Ken Paulson — Willie Nile was clearly battling a respiratory bug, but he soldiered on in his show at the City Winery tonight, delivering an energetic and sometimes inspirational set.
Joined by bassist and vocalist┬áJohnny Pisano and world-class harmonica player Mickey Rafael, Nile drew heavily from his new Positively Bob collection of Bob Dylan covers, including “Subterranean Homesick Blues, “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall,” the latter delivered in part by a three-year-old grandaughter via a phone video.
One of the joys of hearing Willie Nile play is that he has a story for every song he plays, a disappearing art. “Dylan was just 21 whe he wrote this,” he would exclaim.
Some of the most powerful songs of the evening were his anthems “This Is Our Time” (dedicated to Malala, see the video below) and “House of 1,000 Guitars,” with “One Guitar ” closing out the set with a bang.

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