Friday, June 10, 2011

Several Species Of Small Furry Thoughts - A Treasure

There are a few Neil Youngs. There’s the singer/songwriter of Buffalo Springfield/CSNY/Crazy Horse fame, the author of countless rock and folk classics; there’s the guitar warrior, capable of puncturing eardrums with feedback and volume; there’s the experimental iconoclast who confounds critics and fans by never being predictable or giving them exactly what they expect; and there is also the down home Neil, the guy who pays homage to the country music he grew up hearing, sounding like a beacon across the great expanse of loneliness between Nashville and Canada. When Neil released his Old Ways record of country-tinged rockers and ballads, he not only succeeded in driving David Geffen apeshit, he seemed to really strike a chord in his own musical sensibilities as well. He embarked on a cross-country tour with a real live country band that included fiddlemaster Rufus Thibodeaux, Nashville legend Spooner Oldham and other legit members of the C&W world. The 1984 tour stopped at Red Rocks and the Cheyenne Rodeo. I went to both, and I will never forget Rufus Thibodeaux almost sawing his fiddle in half during a downpour while the band soared through “Down By The River.” Neil did play some of his other material on this tour, but everything had a very authentic country feel to it.
Now 27 years later Neil is releasing a keepsake of that wonderful tour. A Treasure compiles many highlights from the tour into a beautiful package that will make Neil fans smile. Containing 12 songs, many of them will be unfamiliar to fans as they were never given an official release. The band is as warm and seasonal as roasted chestnuts, playing with the confidence that is born in authenticity not artifice. Highlights include Neil’s lovely song to his daughter “Amber Jean,” a beautiful take on the Springfield classic “Flying On The Ground Is Wrong,” the touching ballad “Nothing Is Perfect” and the barn burning versions of “Southern Pacific” and the unreleased “Grey Riders.” From the pastoral cover painting to the familial vibe of the performances this is indeed a treasure.
As a special reward to independent stores, we were given both versions (180 gram and regular weight) of the vinyl to sell a week early. The CD and a deluxe CD/Blu-Ray version with live footage will be out next week.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought it was "Trans" that drove David Geffen apeshit? Or was it "Everybody's Rockin'"?