Reflecting the international reach of the Jersey-based Light of Day initiative, the Rome, Italy-based band Mardi Gras has recorded a cover of the Willie Nile song “One Guitar” (co-written by Nile and Frankie Lee), with proceeds going to the Light of Day Foundation.
The group was inspired to record the song after playing a Light of Day show at the Forum Music Village in Rome in 2015 with Ed Manion, Jake Clemons, Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez, Joe D’Urso and others.
Nile, of course, performs frequently at Light of Day events, and usually includes “One Guitar” — a song about the idea that everyone can make a difference, and that change can start with something as simple as one guitar — in his sets. In 2014, Bruce Springsteen made a surprise appearance during Nile’s set at a Light of Day concert at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, and performed this song with him.
“Willie gave us his approval to do a rendition of his song, which is in a way a sort of hymn for the foundation,” said Mardi Gras guitarist Fabrizio Fontanelli, in an email.
Nile is scheduled to make five appearances at this year’s Light of Day “Winterfest,” including the first show, Jan. 11 at the Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, and the main concert, Jan. 19 at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park. The complete Winterfest schedule is available here.
Light of Day, now in its 19th year, has raised millions of dollars for research about Parkinson’s Disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Mardi Gras’ “Light of Day” is available through all major online retailers. Here is the video: