Posts Tagged ‘Neil Young’

After The Gold Rush

By the end of the 1960s Neil Young was catching the ear of many influential figures – not least his old band mate Stephen Stills, who was now part of the Grammy-winning folk-rock super group Crosby, Stills & Nash. The band were keen to have him onboard as a sideman, but Young was insistent that he be given a full title credit as a condition for his contributions. Stills frequently found himself fighting with Young for control over the band’s songwriting, and has famously said that the latter “wanted to play folk music in a rock band.”

Young’s dogged self-determination, despite its interpersonal downfalls, was a major artistic virtue that fed directly into what was perhaps his first true masterpiece. After The Gold Rush had its beginnings in an unlikely place. Dean Stockwell, a former child star of the ‘40s and ‘50s, had been encouraged by his friend Dennis Hopper to write a screenplay whilst the pair were in the jungles of Peru producing a film entitled The Last Movie. Hopper assured Stockwell that he had the relevant connections to help get the film made, and once back in the US the latter retreated to his home at Topanga Canyon in the Los Angeles Mountains to commence the writing process.

A fellow resident of the canyon and a close friend of Stockwell’s, Young was suffering through a prolonged period of writer’s block and was under growing pressure from his label to record an album of new material. After learning of the writer’s creative endeavour he was intrigued to learn more and asked Stockwell if he could read a draft of the story. The script, which has since been lost, was an unconventional, non-linear narrative with religious and psychedelic undertones. It loosely detailed an end-of-the-world scenario centred on the local Californian environment, in which a biblical flood threatened to pull the state into the ocean. Captivated by this messy but intriguing tale, Young recalls: “I was writing a lot of songs at the time, and some of them seemed like they would fit right in with the story.”

Ironically Hopper’s proximity to the project scared off any interested executives, and before long the film seemed destined to remain in limbo. Nonetheless, Young was fired up and undeterred, commencing work immediately on what he imagined to be the soundtrack of this deeply counter-cultural Hollywood film. Finding time to write and record was difficult, as large swathes of 1970 were blocked out by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s huge US Tour and further live obligations with Crazy Horse. In the precious gaps between shows, Young made initial recordings at Hollywood’s Sunset Studios, yielding “I Believe In You” and “Oh Lonesome Me” but quickly realised he preferred the atmosphere of the Canyon, continuing the process at the home studio set up in his lead-lined basement. It was here that his ensemble of bassist Greg Reeves, drummer Ralph Molina, and guitarist Nils Lofgren assembled.

The studio was a small and sweaty space, adjoined to a side control room from which producer David Briggs kept an eye on proceedings. The youngest of the ensemble, eighteen year-old Lofgren was brought in to play keyboards despite being a relative novice at the time of recording, highlighting Young’s unconventional laid back approach. Accordingly the musician recalls that “Neil didn’t mind rehearsing a bit” but they “didn’t belabour stuff.” It’s often considered that Young was attempting to merge musicians from both Crosby, Stills & Nash and Crazy Horse on this album, and Stephen Stills even appears on “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” to provide backing vocals.

The basement’s make-shift setup influenced the stark and plaintive sound of After The Gold Rush. Young featured solo on piano throughout the album, most notably on the title track which is often praised as the centrepiece of the album. Charting a surreal and fantastical course through three verses, the song starts in a medieval era of knights and peasants and ends in outer space with the remnants of humanity, after the world has descended into apocalypse.

The song was designed to directly mirror the plot of the proposed film, and Young invited Stockwell to sit in on some of the album’s sessions. The writer was impressed: “If you could calculate the amount of human energy that goes into the making of one of his songs, you would have a really fucking high number, man.”
Explaining his thoughts behind the environmentally conscious song Young recalls: “I recognise in it now this thread that goes through a lotta my songs that’s this time-travel thing… When I look out the window, the first thing that comes to my mind is the way this place looked a hundred years ago.”

But stepping out of the failed film’s shadow, After The Gold Rush as a whole fits neatly into Young’s continued development as one of the finest songwriters of the North American tradition. Young’s ability to convey nuanced emotion through potently simple chord sequences and unvarnished yet poetic lyrics is exemplified on songs such as “Birds” and “Only Love…”, which highlight the often overlooked yet effortless sonic beauty of his music. The fact that the album allows such space for this aspect of Young’s work to blossom reveals why it remains one of the most beloved in his expansive catalogue.

Despite producing no major hits and suffering a ferociously critical review from Rolling Stone, the album truly kicked off Young’s celebrated solo career, preceding game-changing albums, such as 1972’s Harvest, and was quickly re-considered as one of the finest albums of the 1970s by the very publications who had tore it to pieces just a few years prior. It’s a testament to how swiftly Young’s career was ascending – from folk-rock’s resilient underdog to one of the standard-bearers of the great American songbook.

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Neil Young To Feel The Music Book

Neil Young‘s latest book To Feel The Music is due out September 9th via Benbella Books. Young co-wrote the tome with Phil Baker about his efforts to provide high-quality music to listeners.

To Feel The Music is Neil’s third book. The Rock & Roll Hall Of Famer wrote Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream in 2012 and Special Deluxe: A Memoir Of Life & Cars in 2014. Young posted a note about the forthcoming volume on his Neil Young Archives website:
My new book, To Feel The Music, co-written with Phil Baker, has been announced and is now available for pre-order on numerous book sites.

To Feel The Music is the story of my efforts to improve the quality of audio that you hear. It takes you through how the sound was and is compromised by the tech and record companies, and instead of improving over time like other technologies, it has become worse. Our book also tells the business and development story behind Pono, and then, when people wanted the convenience of streaming, how we developed Xstream high resolution streaming, the highest quality streaming in the world, as you hear it on NYA.

The issue of improving audio quality has been one of the most important things we’ve been doing for decacdes, and something I focus on every day. We spent a year writing this and I think you’ll find it interesting and informative.

The book will be released on September 9th

Tuscaloosa (Live)

Neil Young culled highlights from his February 5th, 1973 concert at the University Of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with The Stray Gators for a new live album entitled “Tuscaloosa”, which is due out on June 7th via Warner Bros Records. The first single from the seven-track LP is a slow and beautiful version of “Don’t Be Denied.”

This is the next installment of Neil Young’s ongoing archival series, a concert he played with the Stray Gators simply titles “Tuscaloosa”, it will come out on a single CD and a three-sided vinyl album with etched artwork on side four.

“It’s from the period right around Harvest and Tonight’s the Night,” said Young,  “For me, it’s edgy. It’s like those mellow songs with an edge. It’s really trippy to be down in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and singing those songs from Harvest and the songs that we were doing for Time Fades Away before it came out. I found this thing and it had such a great attitude to it. I just loved the whole night, so I put that together with [engineer] John Hanlon.

Neil Young + Stray Gators “Don’t Be Denied” from the upcoming album ‘Tuscaloosa” Available on June 7th.

Nils Lofgren performs at the 30th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert at the Shoreline Ampthitheatre, in Mountain View, Calif30th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert - Day 2, San Francisco, USA

Nils Lofgren was lounging by the pool of his Phoenix, Arizona, home with his wife Amy in April 2018 when the phone rang. “It was a Saturday,” recalls the guitarist. “I got a pad and paper out as I thought to myself, ‘Who is calling on a weekend? What will I need to take care of now? What business do I need to address?’ That was the cynic in me.”

It turned out to be Neil Young. “He said, ‘Look, we have these five Crazy Horse theaters shows booked in California to commemorate the release of the Roxy album Lofgren says. “[Crazy Horse guitarist] Poncho [Sampedro] can’t make it. Instead of canceling the shows, we’re wondering if you can walk in pretty much without any rehearsal and wing it with us?’”

The request left Lofgren completely stunned. He had got his first big break back in 1970 when Young invited him to play on After the Gold Rush when he was just 19. He went on to join Crazy Horse for their 1971 self-tiled LP (recorded without Neil Young) and two years later he cut Tonight’s the Night with Young and the Crazy Horse rhythm section of Ralph Molina and Billy Talbot. But besides sporadic charity shows and the 1993 MTV Unplugged special, Lofgren hadn’t really been in one of Young’s backing bands since the Trans tour in 1982.

Once he got over the shock, Young filled him on in the details. Three concerts were on the books in Fresno, California, and another two in Bakersfield, California. Lofgren was due to kick off an extensive U.K. tour on May 14th , just eight days after the last show  but if he rejiggered his schedule and missed just a single day of production rehearsal, it would be feasible for him to make it work. “I talked to Amy and looked at the calendar and said, ‘Man, count me in,’” says Lofgren. “He said, ‘Give me a day. I’ll call you back to see if I can make this happen.’ The next day he called back and said, ‘We’re on. Let’s do it.’”

In keeping with Young’s longstanding “Don’t Spook the Horse” rule, he decided they’d forego any formal rehearsals even though Lofgren hadn’t played a show with Molina and Talbot since the end of the Tonight’s the Night tour in 1973. “The first time we put on our instruments was at soundcheck,” says Lofgren. “It was really seat-of-your pants.”

It sent Lofgren’s mind right back to the Tonight’s the Night sessions, shortly after the death of original Crazy Horse guitarist Danny Whitten and roadie Bruce Berry. “We’d get together at dinner time and drink and play pool, smoke a little Thai weed and not worry about music,” he says. “It wasn’t until after midnight we’d go into the studio and play. Neil would sketch out three or four songs we really didn’t know. He said, ‘I don’t want you to know them. I want to do an anti-production record. I don’t want you to have a part for the chorus and a part for the verse. I don’t want you get to know them that well.

Opening night of the 2018 Crazy Horse run wasn’t quite that impromptu, but Lofgren still had to tackle songs like “Big Time” and “Scattered (Let’s Think About Livin’)” that he’d never played live in any capacity, with or without Young. But he’d done his homework and was able to feed off the energy all around him and deliver a killer show. “I knew songs like ‘Don’t Cry No Tears’ and ‘Like a Hurricane’ from the Trans tour,” says Lofgren. “And I’m grateful he included songs in the set from After the Gold Rush and Tonight’s the Night.”

Whenever they played a Tonight’s the Night song, it was essentially a complete reunion of Young’s backing band from that period minus the late Ben Keith. “We thought, ‘Four of the five of us are standing,’” says Lofgren. “‘That’s gotta be good. We’ll take it. We’ll miss Ben, but his spirit is with us.’”

There were no future plans for Crazy Horse after the mini-tour wrapped up May 6th, 2018, at the Fox Theater in Bakersfield, and Lofgren flew off to England thinking he may never play with them again. But then in December he got another call from Young. “He said, ‘I’m going to Winnipeg where I have such a long history,’” recalls Lofgren. “‘I want to visit old family and friends and do a couple of shows with Crazy Horse. Can you make it?’”

He happily accepted, though this time he had a little bit more time to prepare. While Young was busy playing solo shows in Wisconsin and Minnesota, Lofgren travelled to South Dakota to rehearse with Ralph Molina and Billy Talbot at the bass player’s home studio. It was at the peak of the polar vortex gripping much of the country and the temperature was well below zero. “Just walking across the ice and the howling wind in South Dakota to the studio was a big adventure every day,” says Lofgren. “Each time I was like, ‘We made it! Nobody fell and broke anything!’”

If that wasn’t frigid enough, the three of them then got onto a tour bus and drove more than 10 hours to Winnipeg for the shows. It was roughly 15 below before you even factored in the wind chill. “We were going right into the heart of the polar vortex,” says Lofgren. “Amy sat me down repeatedly and was like, ‘Look, you must promise that if the bus breaks down, before you do anything, before you call me, you call 911,’” Lofgren recalls. “‘This is not weather to mess around with. This kills people.’”

They managed to make to make it to Winnipeg without freezing to death or calling in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to rescue them. And once again, Young wanted the shows to be spontaneous. “He said, ‘I’m here with my old family and friends and I don’t want to even write a set list,’” Lofgren recalls. “‘Let’s just figure it out as we go. But don’t think. You guys rehearsed hard in South Dakota. Just don’t think. Let’s go and have an experience.’ The first night was a lot of rockiness in and out and the second night, man, we hit some groove and it felt kind of like flying or floating. It was very cool.”

The future for Neil Young and Crazy Horse is very unclear. Young has many shows on the books during the next few months, but all of them are either with Promise of the Real or solo. No explanation has been given for Poncho’s absence from the recent run of shows, but if Young decides to call up Lofgren again, he’ll be there. “It’s been a beautiful opportunity to play with dear friends that are still alive and well,” he says. “Look, I hope there’s more, but I’ll take it a gig at a time right now.”

Vinyl issue of a late 1973 recording from New York with the Santa Monica Flyers.

In the second half of 1973, Neil Young formed The Santa Monica Flyers, with Crazy Horse’s rhythm section augmented by Nils Lofgren on guitar and piano and Harvest/Time Fades Away veteran Ben Keith on pedal steel guitar. Deeply affected by the drug-induced deaths of Danny Whitten and roadie Bruce Berry, Young recorded an album specifically inspired by the incidents, “Tonight’s the Night”. The album’s dark tone and rawness led Reprise to delay its release and Young had to pressure them for two years before they would do so; it finally came out on in June 1975.

By late ’73, Young and The Flyers were touring and performing songs, as yet unreleased, later to be included on Tonight’s The Night. On November 15th the ensemble performed at Queen’s College in Flushing, New York, for a show which remains quite staggering and is featured on this CD in its entirety. Including six cuts from Tonight….., plus a smattering of numbers from previous records, this concert, released here for the first time, is unlike any other Neil Young ever played.

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New release time once again, and there is a healthy whack of excellent reissues this week, with Kate Bush taking the top spot with Aerial, The Directors Cut and 50 Words For Snow all landing. As well as all of the individual albums, part 2 of the ‘Remastered’ box set seeing it’s release as well as the vinyl counterparts, Remastered In Vinyl Parts III and IV.

This week also the latest in a long line of much anticipated Fall live shows from the mid 90’s with Derby in ’94 and London in ’95 both show the range and excitement of the live show’s they were so well known for.

There is brand new album from Liverpool band ‘The Fernweh’ to be released on James Skelly’s (of The Coral fame) label, Skeleton Key Records. Psychedelic hooks, folky ruminations and shimmering acoustic meanderings. It’s a beautiful thing indeed. Plus A new full-length from Johnny Flynn. 

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Neil Young – Songs For Judy

Songs For Judy is the debut release on Shakey Pictures Records, Young’s own imprint distributed by Reprise Records. Songs For Judy is thoroughly engaging collection of live acoustic performances culled from Neil’s November 1976 solo tour and features twenty-two songs recorded at various cities along the tour. This song cycle of live recordings is particularly powerful and unique. Young had spent much of the year traveling around the world on tour with Crazy Horse. When touring on his own, he recharged and focused on songs that would not surface in recorded form for several years. Of the albums many treasures, No One Seems To Know would not see the light of day until now and it remains unreleased in any other iteration. The raw versions of the tracks found on Songs For Judy reflect an artist completely unvarnished and unafraid to allow the songs to breath and to find their own shape when performed in a solo setting. Songs written in that era would come into focus and then seemingly disappear only to re-enter Young’s orbit somewhere down the road. White Line and Give Me Strength are such examples of finding the light in 1990 and 2017 respectively. It’s also fascinating to hear Young revisit early gems such as Springfield’s Mr. Soul (’67), Here We Are In The Years (’68), andThe Losing End (’69) from some of his earliest solo recordings which remain as timeless as ever.

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Johnny Flynn And The Sussex Wit – Live At The Roundhouse

‘Live At The Roundhouse’ is an electric performance of ten years’ worth of songs; recorded without overdubs, it pays homage to the past whilst pointing propitiously to the group’s future. The album also features a bonus studio cut; the much requested and never released 3-verse rendition of Johnny’s ‘Detectorists’ theme.

Live At The Roundhouse’ is 24 tracks long and pulled from a decade’s worth of music. Fans will hear renditions of songs from Johnny’s “Masterclass” (4/5 The Independent) debut album ‘A Larum’, sophomore ‘Been Listening’, an album “radical in its honesty” (8/10 Drowned in Sound), ‘Country Mile’, “an extremely clever and nuanced record” (Mojo) and his most recent effort, ‘Sillion’, which explored the idea of man’s endeavour to connect with the earth while separated from it; “Another exploratory and remarkably high-caliber LP” (AllMusic 4.5/5). The album also features a bonus studio cut; the much requested and never released 3-verse rendition of Johnny’s ‘Detectorists’ theme. Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit are without a doubt one of the most consistently exhilarating live bands around, inspiring an undying devotion among fans and peers who will cherish ‘Live At The Roundhouse’ for its gritty and impassioned renditions of now-classic songs.

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The Fernweh – The Fernweh

Recorded in seclusion on the North Yorkshire coast and transporting listeners on musical journey. Three friends, Jamie Backhouse (guitars), Ned Crowther (vocals and guitar) and Oz Murphy (keys/saxophone) gathered to make the album they always knew they could make, based on a pure and profound love for a golden era for British and US folk rock. Wringing every last drop of their combined experience into a cup that overflows with melody, song craft and deeply evocative imagery of a quintessentially British era of ‘mainstream psychedelia’, they are joined by Maja Agnevik (vocals/flute)and Phil Murphy (drummer).

Melodies and stories inspired by distinctly British, coal-fired version of 60s/70s psychedelia. Layered vocal harmonies, gentle, steam-train percussion and strokes of piano, acoustic guitars and subtle string arrangements are a feature of this sublime and compelling debut. A return journey into Britain’s explosively creative, post-war period. Arriving back in 2018, the band uses such deeply evocative influences to deliver an irrepressible psych-pop-folk non-genre record.

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David Bowie –  Glastonbury 2000

DAVID BOWIE ‘GLASTONBURY 2000’ documents Bowie’s legendary Sunday night headline performance on 25th June at the most famous festival on earth. The legendary full performance released for the first time including many of David’s greatest hits and never before seen footage.

All formats feature David’s diary, originally written for Time Out, which documents him preparing for the show in his own inimitable manner. In addition to newly mastered audio and upgraded video DAVID BOWIE ‘GLASTONBURY 2000’ features new artwork from Jonathan Barnbrook (who worked with Bowie on the sleeves for Heathen, The Next Day & ★) and notes from the renowned author and Bowie fan Caitlin Moran who reviewed the show for The Times.

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Jeff Tweedy  –  Warm

Jeff Tweedy releases Warm, a solo album of all new material via dBpm Records. Warm was produced and recorded entirely by Jeff at his now legendary Loft Studio in Chicago’s  (with help from some of his usual collaborators – Spencer Tweedy, Glenn Kotche and Tom Schick). Warmfollows the acoustic retrospective release, Together at Last (2017), and Wilco’s 2016 album, Schmilco.

It is a tender manifesto of self-doubt, a shout fading into a murmur. It’s a journey beyond self-consciousness and towards mature vulnerability, to an evolved idea of what is musically pure.

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The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

Winners of 2017’s Best British Group at the BRIT Awards, The 1975 release their 3rd album ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships.’ 
The album is a follow up to ‘I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it,’ which charted at Number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic going Platinum in the UK in the process.

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Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers – Bought To Rot

14 tracks spanning Laura Jane Grace’s fractured relationship with her adopted hometown of Chicago, true friendship, complicated romance, and reconciling everything in the end, Bought to Rot stands as the most musically diverse collection of songs Grace has written to date.

Inspired in large part by Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever, the first album Grace ever owned, Bought to Rot finds her at the same age Petty was when he created his solo debut masterpiece. In light of his recent passing, Grace was motivated to pay homage to one of her lifelong heroes.

Laura Jane Grace & the Devouring Mothers are Laura Jane Grace, Atom Willard, and Marc Jacob Hudson. Grace is a musician, author, and activist best known as the founder, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the punk rock band Against Me!. Willard, also of Against Me!, is a drummer who has played in iconic punk bands such as Rocket from the Crypt, Social Distortion, and The Offspring. Devouring Mothers bassist Hudson is a recordist and mixer at Rancho Recordo, a recording studio and creative space in the woods of Michigan, and the sound engineer for Against Me

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Batts  –  62 Moons

Batts is the moniker for Melbourne based singer-songwriter Tanya Batt, and this is her mesmerising and melancholic debut EP 62 Moons. Named after the 62 Moons of Saturn, the obsession with space is an underlying theme throughout the record, from the Nasa recording of Saturn’s rings which opens the recording, to the EP title. Batts explains “I had the thought of combining the music we create as humans, with the natural music of things out in space that have existed for billions and billions of years. I want to instil knowledge of space within music to people, but not via lyrics – via sounds.”

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The Fall – The Rough Trade Singles

The Rough Trade Singles collects The Fall’s four singles recorded for this influential label in 1980 and 1983 – How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man’ / City Hobgoblins, Totally Wired / Putta Block, The Man Whose Head Expanded / Ludd Gang and Kicker Conspiracy – none of which appeared on any of the band’s studio LPs. With 7-inches being the era’s vehicle for buzzing communiqués, The Fall would use the format for short-form, standalone works rather than as mere promotional devices for forthcoming albums.

“Totally Wired” is often cited (and rightfully so) as The Fall’s most infectious tune – an amphetamine-fueled anthem with stuttering nods to forebears, yet too incisive to have been made by anyone else. “How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man'” is another mad hoedown, one reimagined for the post-punk age. While the playful rhythm machine on “The Man Whose Head Expanded” almost suggests danceability, Mark E. Smith’s idiosyncratic shriek on “Kicker Conspiracy” pierces through the twin drumming of Paul Hanley and Karl Burns and the group’s unpredictable / unmistakable racket. Together these songs remain some of the absolute best material The Fall would ever release.

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Bill Callahan – Live at Third Man Nashville

Bill Callahan, aka Smog, is simultaneously a staple of strange American country, lo-fi, folk and independent music. His lyricism comes across as challenging and deeply autobiographical, equal parts “poetry leaning on true-to-life darkness” and “three chords and the truth.” So, it is fitting that Callahan’s live set would command the same sense of friendliness-with-difficulty that the recorded songs do. With brief, candid, and charming interludes between older and newer material, an outsider can hear that this performance was obviously a full-bodied (and multi-era) engagement, no space left for distraction. The full album is an experience; make it one you look after.

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DIIV  –  Covers

Originally shared on DIIV’s YouTube channel and then later given away on a limited edition cassette run of 50 copies at an acoustic DIIV show in a synagogue in New York City, Captured Tracks now presents a vinyl version of Zachary Cole Smith’s lauded Sparklehorse and (Sandy) Alex G covers. Pressed on Clear Vinyl and limited to 500 copies to celebrate Captured Tracks’ 10th Anniversary.

NEIL YOUNG – ” Ohio “

Posted: November 1, 2018 in MUSIC
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Neil Young shared a new video on his website, taken from a live solo performance of his classic protest song, “Ohio,” which Young wrote and recorded with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1970 in response to the shooting of students protesting at Kent State in early May of that year.

The video, which mainly shows Young performing the tune on an electric guitar to a packed crowd while images of the shooting’s aftermath flash behind him, also includes images of modern student protests and ends with a group chanting, “Never again.”

“‘Ohio’ was written back in 1970 after seeing the cover of a magazine with a young girl kneeling beside her fallen friend,” Young writes on his website. “When the National Guard murdered four students at Ohio’s Kent State University for protesting the Vietnam war, it was a pivotal moment in our history. It was a pivotal moment for me. Today we see what we have become.”

Young explains that he made the video with his wife, Daryl Hannah for fans to “reflect on” the current state of gun laws in the US, along with the waves of student protests and calls for increased gun safety laws in the aftermath of widespread school shootings.

“With no real laws protecting us from guns, and with politicians supporting the NRA because the NRA supports them, we are not well represented. Today’s students are brave, demanding change in violent times. We stand by them. We are them. …Support our children. They want protection. Not more guns. Give us common sense gun laws that protect our people, in schools, in places of worship, in the workplace and on the streets. VOTE.”

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Neil Young announced his plan to release “Songs for Judy”, a live album drawn from his November 1976 U.S. tour. The 22-song LP includes solo acoustic performances of all-time classics like “Heart of Gold,” “After the Gold Rush” and “The Needle and the Damage Done” along with a number of rarer selections, including one song, “No One Seems to Know,” that has not appeared on any previous official release.

Neil Young spent the majority of 1976 on the road with Crazy Horse or on the ill-fated Stills-Young Band tour, which he famously dropped out of midway through that summer. He also found time to make “Hitchhiker”, the lost solo acoustic studio album that he recorded in the August 1976 — three months before the shows documented on Songs for Judy but kept in the vault until last fall. At the November 1976 shows featured on “Songs for Judy”, Young performed a solo acoustic opening set before returning to the stage for a harder-rocking performance with Crazy Horse. These shows have been widely praised and discussed by Young fans for years, but this is their first official release.

Young released “Campaigner,” the first single from the album, Recorded at his November 22nd, 1976 show at Boston’s Music Hall, it’s a pristine performance of the politically puzzling ballad (“Even Richard Nixon has got soul”), which would see its first release the following year on his three-LP greatest hits set Decade.

“The tour had been so satisfying, and so different from all that rock would become in the ensuing years, something indelible was captured in our humble collection,” explains Cameron Crowe, who curated the compilation together with Joel Bernstein. “Listening to it today is a little like discovering postcards from home. It was a precious time in Neil Young’s journey, a breath of oxygen in between some of his biggest adventures.”

Songs for Judy is out November 30th on CD and digital platforms, and December 14th on vinyl.

Songs for Judy Track List (all dates are from 1976)

“Songs For Judy Intro” – Atlanta, GA – Nov 24 (late show)
“Too Far Gone” – Boulder, Colorado – Nov 06
“No One Seems To Know” – Boulder, Colorado – Nov 07
“Heart Of Gold” – Fort Worth, Texas – Nov 10
“White Line” – Fort Worth, Texas – Nov 10
“Love Is A Rose” – Houston – Nov 11
“After The Gold Rush” – Houston – Nov 11
“Human Highway” – Madison, Wisconsin – Nov 14
“Tell Me Why” – Chicago – Nov 15 (late show)
“Mr. Soul” – New York – Nov 20 (early show)
“Mellow My Mind” – New York – Nov 20 (early show)
“Give Me Strength” – New York – Nov 20 (late show)
“A Man Needs A Maid” – New York – Nov 20 (late show)
“Roll Another Number” – Boston – Nov 22 (late show)
“Journey Through The Past” – Boston – Nov 22 (late show)
“Harvest” – Boston – Nov 22 (late show)
“Campaigner” – Boston – Nov 22 (late show)
“Old Laughing Lady” – Atlanta – Nov 24 (early show)
“The Losing End” – Atlanta – Nov 24 (late show)
“Here We Are In The Years” – Atlanta – Nov 24 (late show)
“The Needle And The Damage Done” – Atlanta – Nov 24 (early show)
“Pocahontas” – Atlanta – Nov 24 (late show)
“Sugar Mountain” – Atlanta – Nov 24 (late show)

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From the time they came together as a trio at the end of 1968, to the fall of 1973 when they turned in this impromptu set at Winterland, the three voices comprising Crosby, Stills and Nash had all seen their share of changes: they triumphed with their 1969 self-titled debut, Then joined forces with Neil Young for the follow-up Déjà Vu in 1970, which took their show on the road; by the end of that run, they’d weathered the kind of wear and tear on their hearts and souls that could throw any band off course for good. And yet, whether performing songs from those first two albums or the solo albums like David Crosby’s “If Only I Could Remember My Name”, Graham Nash’s “Songs for Beginners”, Crosby and Nash’s heralded duo album, or Stephen Stills‘ solo albums and the works with Manassas.

In the Fall of 1973, Crosby, Stills and Nash were still slightly reeling from a busy period that followed recording in Hawaii with Young and the passing of CSN&Y roadie Bruce Berry (famously eulogized by Young on “Tonight’s the Night”). Stills had been on the road with his band Manassas, and Crosby and Nash were playing their own shows with an electric band. But when Manassas booked a couple of dates at Winterland on October 4th and 7th of 1973, it was reunion time when Crosby and Nash pulled a walk-on and the trio appeared onstage together for the first time since 1970.

Between the banter and tuning up, the three manage to turn in some prime vocal shots, from a version of the Beatles “Blackbird” to a handful of their group’s and solo works. Nash takes the lead on “Southbound Train” and retreats to piano for “Prison Song,” his protest of tough marijuana laws on the poor population. Stills sings Young’s “Human Highway,” which Crosby characterizes as a song by “our skinny friend;” the live version isn’t quite worked out the way we’ve come to know it, but that’s part of the excitement of this off-the-cuff set. “Wooden Ships” is dedicated to Crosby and Stills‘ co-writer, the Jefferson Airplane/Starship’s Paul Kantner, before the evening is crowned with the vocal trio tour de force with a wonderful version of “Helplessly Hoping.”

These Winterland shows foreshadowed a proper reunion on the horizon: a couple of months later, Young would join Nash and Crosby at an appearance at the San Francisco Civic Arena and, the following year, CSN&Y would be on the road again, playing to their largest audiences ever as a throwback to their early days when the vocal giants were just a trio, this Winterland night is a historic footprint on CSN’s trail of rock & roll.

Crosby, Stills & Nash started off their October. 2nd, 1973 concert at San Francisco’s now-defunct Winterland venue as a trio. But, again, mirroring their career trajectory, they were joined by none other than Neil Young halfway through the show, to the crowd’s uproarious delight. The first show of an impromptu two-night stint at Winterland, which hauled double duty as an ice skating rink and music venue in its seven-year lifespan, the October. 2nd show saw the trio reunited on stage for the first time since 1970. It was an unexpected reunion, as Stills’ newly formed band Manassas had booked The Winterland for dates on October. 2md and 7th, but, as the run’s commence, Nash and Crosby piled on stage (only later to be joined by Young).

The three friends spend the show cutting up on stage, exchanging pleasantries with the crowd and serving up their solo hits and band numbers alike, Informal, joking, and pleasingly loose, the three friends seemed to truly enjoy singing together, despite the occasional onstage bristling and ropy moments. Crosby sarcastically refers to “our usual slick Hollywood show,” explaining away the presentation’s unrehearsed nature as “more fun this way for us.” Stills answered his band mate’s quip drolly with, “Anything you say, David, anything you say.”

They opened the show with a pair of songs from Crosby, Stills & Nash’s 1969 debut, “Helplessly Hoping” and “Wooden Ships,” Then they played The Beatles’ “Blackbird” and Stills’ “As I Come Of Age” before Young appears as if out of thin air, joining the band for renditions of his own “Roll Another Number (For the Road)” and “New Mama” as well as a few more CSN hits. Young’s cameo would foreshadow a CSN&Y tour the following year, in which the quartet played to some of their biggest crowds ever.

Again, watch the video of Crosby, Stills & Nash performing “Wooden Ships” Crosby, Stills & Nash – Lee Shore Recorded Live: 10/7/1973 – Winterland – San Francisco, CA