Will the well ever run dry when it comes Neil Young live jams and rarities? God, I hope not. In recent years, Young has begun sporadically posting a selection of complete live gigs on his Archives site, spanning the from the late 1960s to the late 2010s. It’s been a welcome feast for Neil fanatics. For this mix, the third installation of our Honey Slides series, we’ve grabbed a few highlights (as well as a choice Barn jam) for your enjoyment. Stretching from 1976 to 2010, it’s all electric and leans heavily towards the darker, grittier side of Young’s material. Plenty of Crazy Horse, of course, but also the Stray Gators, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, the International Harvesters and more.
Category: Neil Young
Billy Talbot of Crazy Horse :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview
It’s been more than 50 years since Neil got together with Crazy Horse, but still — nothin’ else matters. Young has just released the Rick Rubin-produced World Record, his third album with the band in as many years, and the heart of the group remains the same as it was back in ’69: drummer Ralph Molina and bassist Billy Talbot, who together have provided the elemental rhythmic bedrock that Neil has relied on for all these years. Aquarium Drunkard caught up with Talbot from his South Dakota home to get the lowdown on the Horse’s past, present and future.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse :: Toast
Never underestimate Neil Young’s hype-building skills. He first teased Toast way back in the late 2000s, tantalizing fans with tales of a missing album recorded with Crazy Horse in San Francisco around the turn of the century. Now, after nearly a decade-and-a-half, Toast is finally here — and we can decide for ourselves whether it lives up to Shakey’s hype.
Neil Young: Songwriting & Old Men (Live & At Home, 1972)
Absolute homegrown ephemera gold courtesy of a 1972 Germany documentary which finds Neil Young in a honey slide haze on his fabled Broken Arrow Ranch, work-shopping “Out on the Weekend” (endearingly amused by his own lyrics), and hanging with Elliot Roberts, the fellas, the dogs, and the cows.
Neil Young :: Harvested (Harvest Re-Imagined)
Neil Young’s Harvest turned 50 this month — and thanks to hits like “Heart of Gold” and “Old Man,” the 1972 LP remains one of the songwriter’s signature efforts. To hear it with fresh ears, step into the barn with Neil one more time and check out this decades-spanning, re-imagined version of the album, compiled out of ranch rambles, live arrangements, fireside sessions, and even a little chicken coop jam.
Neil Young :: A Few More Honey Slides
After a somewhat, er, “shakey” start, the online home of the Neil Young Archives has hit its stride. The past year has seen an incredible array of previously unavailable material show up for subscribers to enjoy. Outtakes stretching back to the Buffalo Springfield days, full live shows available to stream, rare films … All this and Neil himself regularly answering your questions in the Letters to the Editor column. Suffice to say, if you’re a fan of the man, you should consider signing up for the Archives. Below, we’ve got a small sampler mix of some of the goodies — plus a few things that haven’t made it to the NYA just yet.
Frank “Poncho” Sampedro :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview
Crazy Horse’s Frank “Poncho” Sampedro joined up with Neil Young in 1973 and remained firmly in place until 2014. He joins Aquarium Drunkard’s Tyler Wilcox for a look back at his time in the Horse—at times dosed, at times dazed, but always tapped into the mythic rock and roll spirit that drove the band.
Neil Young :: A Few Honey Slides
This hour of Radio Free Aquarium Drunkard features a sampling of that good stuff: live cuts, b-sides, demos, outtakes, rarities and beyond, stretching from 1969 to 2020. There’s even a dance mix thrown in there for all the Cinnamon Girls out there. Fry up a few honey slides and enjoy.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse :: Danger Birds (A 40-Minute Live Megamix)
Two notable Neil Young dates this week — the man’s 75th birthday today and the 45th anniversary of his classic Zuma LP this past Tuesday. To celebrate, dig into a 40-minute live megamix of “Danger Bird,” one of Zuma’s most thoroughly awesome cuts. It’s primarily a Crazy Horse showcase, but there’s also room made for an exceedingly rare solo piano outing. “Danger Bird” is the sound of massive wings flapping, tectonic plates shifting, mountains forming. In a live setting, it’s only grown in stature, as the Horse soars like a shadow in the sky …
The Lingering Question Marks of Neil Young’s Long Lost Homegrown
Neil Young’s long lost Homegrown is a worthy addition to the songwriter’s famed “Ditch” period, sharing with those other lps a heavy sense of loneliness, loss and heartache (as well as some of the boozy joy). But it’s a distinct effort, too, filled with its own melancholy and mystery.
Alright With Me :: Neil Young’s Homegrown, Live Through The Years
We’ll have plenty more to say about Homegrown proper in the upcoming weeks. But for now, take a listen to a mix of tunes from the album that have made their way into Young’s live repertoire over the years, plus a few added rarities. Let it ring!
Hoping For A Replacement :: After The Gold Rush Re-Imagined
After The Gold Rush’s downbeat-but-irrepressibly melodic songs would also find their way into the repertoire of many other artists. Hoping For A Replacement re-creates the album using a selection of these covers. There are future superstars, like Bette Midler and Linda Ronstadt. And then there are more obscure names, like Hookfoot, Julie Mairs and the Dutch band Teenmakers, whose “Southern Man” you have to hear to believe.
Neil Young :: Mexico
It’s looking more and more likely that Neil Young will release Homegrown in early 2020. Of course, it’s easy to be skeptical—Neil has been teasing this long-lost 1975 masterpiece for the past decade at least. But there appears to be a test pressing, which is promising! First, a little background from some of the key players.
Neil Young and Crazy Horse :: Colorado
So we didn’t exactly get Year of the Horse, part II in 2019. But we did get another Neil Young and Crazy Horse album, Colorado, released a little over 50 years after Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere introduced the world to this extraordinary pairing. Amazingly, three out of the four musicians who made that epochal 1969 LP are still onboard – and together they still sound like no one else….
Neil Young + Stray Gators :: Tuscaloosa
Intentional or not, Neil Young picked a rather poignant time to release a live album recorded in Alabama—and given his prickly history with the state (and with the South at large), Tuscaloosa feels like it’s arriving in the same way that so much of Shakey’s career has: just when we need it.