Friday, November 13, 2015

Neil Young - Road Rock

As I said, I'm going through a NY phase here! On this live show, Young is accompanied by Ben Keith on guitar, Spooner Oldham on piano, Donald "Duck" Dunn on bass, Jim Keltner on drums, Astrid and Pegi Young on vocals and a special guest appearance by Chrissie Hynde on guitar and vocals for "All Along the Watchtower".

Another stellar performance, this time from the year 2000, but still as raw and raucous as any other time of his career. Starting with a jam that leads into "Cowgirl in the Sand", Young and Ben Keith blasts out more fierce guitar leads while the women help to sweeten the sound on the lyrical portions of the tune. The country-ish "Walk On" follows and then the previously unreleased "Fool For Your Love", not one of his stronger numbers - almost a novelty here. The harmonies make "Peace of Mind" a lovely ballad and "Words" is a fave electric number that builds'n'grows and ebbs'n'flows and was a highlight of Harvest.

The grungey "Motorcycle Mama" is a mid-tempo stomper with some excellent, blues-beltin' vocals from Young's wife Pegi. I've always loved the haunting "Tonight's the Night" and, if anything, it is more painful than ever in this setting. The slide guitar interacting with the piano is quite nice, as are the poignant pauses throughout. The afore-mentioned "All Along the Watchtower" is turned into another Neil guitar-noize-masterpiece, as a mix of Dylan's and Hendrix's versions but with cool vocals from Hynde trading off and harmonizing with young. Great stuff!

As good as anything that he's put out! A terrific set, overall and superior performances from everyone involved.