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Lofgren at the Sage; IT'S a busy week on the roots music scene, as ALAN NICHOL reports.

NILS Lofgren, the Chicago-born guitarist/singer, has a first-rate pedigree and a 40-odd album career. Apart from his own band, Grin, he was a leading light in the bands of Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen and it was in the latter's E-Street Band that he perfected his on-stage back-flip, often a high-point of the live shows.

He is at The Sage Gateshead's Hall 1 on Monday night.

Like many other musicians, Lofgren's initial study was with an instrument other than the one which made him famous.

In his case it was the accordion, from the age of five.

He studied classical music then jazz for about 10 years before the lure of rock and the guitar was too strong to resist.

Lofgren was only 17 when he was chosen by Neil Young to play lead guitar (piano and vocals, too) on Young's classic After The Gold Rush album.

Lofgren's own band, Grin, which later included his brother Tommy, released four albums in the early 70s without quite hitting pay-dirt.

After Grin he released 10 solo albums - at the heady rate of one a year - before he replaced Steve Van Zandt in Bruce Springsteen's E Street band.

He continued to release solo records while he was with Springsteen and he has around 40 albums to his name.

Lofgren also tours as a solo act, works with Patti Scialfa, Neil Young and with Ringo Starr's All-Star Band.

He was an accomplished gymnast in his youth, a skill he later put to use during his on-stage performances culminating in that trademark back flip.

Recent hip surgery has limited those activities but his sixstring prowess is undiminished, hence this appearance as part of the International Guitar Festival. Lofgren is also a sought-after guitar tutor, with his CV that's hardly a surprise!

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 22, 2010
Words:302
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