Wags might be forgiven for calling Nils Lofgren the Forrest Gump of rock. The dude’s not only played with everyone, it seems, but he’s been a key guitar (and accordion) foil for some of the most critically acclaimed figures in rock.
And that’s precisely where the wags would be way wide of the mark. Whereas ol’ Forrest landed alongside greatness entirely by dumb luck and failed to recognize the significance of those figures and events, Lofgren earned his place alongside greatness and, in his typically humble manner, understood the gravitas of those situations in which he found himself.
What’s often overlooked, however, given his extraordinary career as a sideman, is Lofgren’s stellar solo output beginning with his early work as a teenaged guitarist/singer/songwriter with the criminally overlooked Grin.
It’s that solo career which finally gets its due retrospective in this exhaustive 10-disc set (nine CDs and one DVD) curated by Lofgren himself, beginning with selections from Grin’s first album in 1970 and continuing through selections self-released on his own Cattle Track imprint beginning in 1993.
Also included is a fantastic 132-page book lovingly prefaced by Dave Marsh and featuring rare photography alongside track-by-track commentary from Lofgren himself.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s November ’14 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.