Posts Tagged ‘Neil Young + Promise of the Real’

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Neil Young has never held his tongue when it comes to railing against factory farms and the corporate food industry. At the 33rd Farm Aid on Saturday in Hartford, Connecticut, Young’s impassioned appeals toward activism and policy change interlaced with his nonchalant stage style and relentless sense of humor made him a highlight of the festival.

Between easy old familiars like “Field of Opportunity” and “Heart of Gold,” Young sandwiched his repeated question, “What’re ya gonna do when ya see a farmers market?” with colorful follow-ups like, “Go in and buy something and stay away from those Dollar stores.” Protest songs “Ohio” and “Children of Destiny” were powerfully juxtaposed with set closer “Love and Only Love,” whose final words, “Spirit come back to me / give me strength and set me free,” were sung in unison by all the band members and unfurled into the most compelling instrumental breakdown and performance of the festival.

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But the high point was a marvelous performance of “Powderfinger.” With Lukas and Micah Nelson’s Promise of the Real backing him up, Young blasted off a firecracker of a guitar solo that musically framed the song’s brilliant final phrase.

“When you see a farmers market, just stop and go in and get to know them and buy something. Buy something good. Don’t buy the shit you get at Safeway. Buy something that’s really safe … All the crap you get in these big stores is not good. It’s got a lot of chemicals in it and it kills the earth,” Young elaborated. His message, while humorous, was also dire, a call for action that has become customary for the food-focused Farm Aid, which this year stressed a far more urgent situation.

Young, a Canadian citizen who cannot vote in U.S. elections, also took aim at President Trump in a pre-show press conference. “Whoever you vote for, I respect you for voting. I’m a Canadian, I can’t vote,” he said. “I’ve been called a lot of things by this dickhead in the White House, but I am a Canadian, and I love America. There’s nothing here that needs to be made ‘great again.’”

Family farmers are currently experiencing the worst economic downturn since the 1980s, with their incomes slashed by more than 50 percent since 2013 largely due to an unfair, corporate-dominated marketplace, which is horribly constructed in the current House Farm Bill. With an expiration date of September 30th quickly approaching, there is an opportunity to change the legislation and help restore and protect an independent family farm system of agriculture. The Farm Aid organization works year-round to advocate for this, posting an easy-to-use resource for everyone to contact their state representatives about specific changes that need to be made before the next Farm Bill vote.

Here’s the Farm Aid 2018 lineup schedule:


Neil Young & Promise of the Real perform Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s “Powderfinger” at Farm Aid 2018 at XFINITY Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut, on September 22. Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land and has worked since then to make sure everyone has access to good food from family farmers. Dave Matthews joined Farm Aid’s board of directors in 2001.

The weekend of June 23rd Neil Young headlined Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco Festival with his regular backing band, Promise Of The Real. “Back on stage with Promise of the Real! We will begin playing again starting at this great California festival in June and it will be a blast. We plan on doing something to get up and running and we will share that with you when we are ready. We may even live stream it on Movie Night if our buses work. I really look forward to playing my songs again with Promise of the Real.

Be ready for some jams! Like an Inca. They don’t take any practicing and when the vibe is right, we all fly! .
That’s what life is all about!”

Kicking off with a 20-minute version of “Like An Inca” from the album “Trans”Young and his band appeared to be assembling their set-list on the fly. At one point they started playing “Lotta Love” only to abandon it after a few seconds in favour of Buffalo Springfield’s “I Am A Child”, returning to “Lotta Love” afterwards.

The encore comprised CSNY’s “Ohio”, with a 15-minute version of “Down By The River” and “Roll Another Number”.

“Funny how an unplanned set breathes like real rock and roll,” wrote Young later on Neil Young Archives. “We just play what we feel like playing, for as long as we feel like playing it, and it works for us.”

Famed rocker Neil Young headlined Saturday’s action at the Arroyo Seco Weekend festival in Pasadena, California with Promise Of The Real. Neil & POTR’s set came after three warmup shows earlier in the week at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara and once again Young continues to perform without a pre-determined setlist with impressive results. Young had high praise for his Arroyo Seco set with guitarists Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson, bassist Corey McCormick, drummer Anthony Logerfo and percussionist Tato Melgar.

The legendary musician was effusive in his praise of the band. “Promise Of The Real had my back all night. What an unbelievable energy comes out of the Real! I love playing with Promise Of The Real. They know all my songs,”

Watch some fan-filmed footage of the performance.

Young led his group through a total of 14 songs over the course of their two-hour festival set this past Saturday night. A huge songlist was hung behind Neil that he would pick from based on how the show was going. “You made my day! What a great crowd. Funny how an unplanned set breathes like real rock and roll,” Young wrote on his website. “WE just play what we feel like playing, for as long as we feel like playing it, and it works for us!” The guitarist and POTR extended many of the tunes they performed at the festival with lengthy jams including a 20-minute “Like An Inca” and adventurous takes on “Down By The River” and “Cortez The Killer.”

Neil also discussed the inclusion of “Ohio” from his CSNY days and “Angry World” off Le Noise, which was debuted live for the first time during the rehearsal shows. “[On Saturday night] OHIO took on a new life near the end of the set. For some reason it felt good to mention a president’s name in a song without it being the current occupant of the WH,” Young explained in his note. “How about ANGRY WORLD, I can’t believe I have never played that song before this week. People really want to hear about real life, especially young people like the one’s we met at Arroyo Seco.”
Band: Promise Of The Real:
Neil Young – vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica
Lukas Nelson – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals
Micah Nelson – electric guitar, vocals
Corey McCormick – bass, vocals
Anthony Logerfo – drums
Tato Melgar – percussion

01. Lika An Inca
02. F*!#in’ Up
03. Cortez The Killer
04. Forget About Georgia (Lukas Nelson)
05. Everything Is Bullshit (Micah Nelson)
06. I Am A Child
07. Lotta Love
08. Rockin’ In The Free World
09. Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black)
10. Angry World
11. Powderfinger

12. Ohio
13. Down By The River
14. Roll Another Number

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Neil Young’s new ‘Peace Trail’ video features clips from his film ‘Paradox’ which debuted at the Austin SXSW Film festival last month. It’s directed by Daryl Hannah and sees Young and the band Promise of the Real perform the track under a tent as characters from the film drift in and out of frame.
Daryl Hannah’s feature direction stars Young  in Paradox along with Willie Nelson and his sons Lukas and Micah. Members of Young’s latest band, Promise of The Real .  Like Paradox’s loose narrative – Hannah joked that the film had “more pot than plot” – the “Peace Trail” video also features footage of deer in the forest, Young and Promise of the Real onstage at Desert Trip and an 8 ½-inspired shot of a man floating like a balloon with a rope attached to his leg.

Described as a fantasy, a loud poem and a free-spirited tale of music and love. Paradox. Only on Netflix. March 23rd.

The SXSW Film Festival website described Paradox as a “far-fetched, whimsical western tale of music and love. Somewhere in the future past, The Man in the Black Hat hides out between heists at an old stagecoach stop with Jail Time, the Particle Kid, and an odd band of outlaws.” Check out the Music Video for “Peace Trail” from Neil Young + Promise of The Real from the Motion Picture ‘Paradox’

NY The Visitor Album artwork

Neil Young will issue, The Visitor, his 39th studio album in December.

The album has been recorded with his current road band Promise of the Real, the group fronted by Willie Nelson’s son Lukas. Young worked with them on 2015’s The Monsanto Years.

The satisfyingly grungy and rather splendid Already Great has been made available for our listening pleasure and surely bodes well for the rest of the album. Another track from the new album, the patriotic anthem Children of Destinywas issued on 4th July this year. That track was recorded with a 56-piece orchestra at Capitol Studios