I doubt there are very many artists who release more music than Neil Young.
As I have stated before in my columns, Young is one of my very favorite artists, but there are some of his recordings I just do not care for. When a musician puts out as much music as Young has over 50-plus years, there are going to be some stinkers in the bunch.
You could say the same thing about Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison. That being said, there are two new releases from Young that I think you should know about.
Ironically, I’ve owned bootleg copies of both of these recordings. Both had poor-to-fair sound quality. I am looking forward to hearing these remastered “Archive” recordings that were supervised by Young himself.
“Down In the Rust Bucket” from Young and his favorite band, Crazy Horse, will be released Friday, Feb. 26. It was recorded in 1990 at the Catalyst, a small club Young often played in Santa Cruz, California, during his career.
It showcases songs from the amazing “Ragged Glory” album recorded at Young’s 80-acre Broken Arrow Ranch in Northern California and released earlier that year. I remember reading at the time that the band got complaints from the neighbors for being too loud during rehearsals and recording.
The show at the Catalyst was the first time most of the songs from “Ragged Glory” were played live. The scorching three-hour show also included songs are such “Cinnamon Girl,” “Danger Bird,” “Homegrown,” “Like A Hurricane,” “Sedan Delivery,” “Bite the Bullet” and “Cortez the Killer.”
“Down In the Rust Bucket” is available as a double CD set, a four-LP set, and four LPs with two CDs and a DVD in the deluxe edition.
“Young Shakespeare” will be released March 26. This is a solo show that was at the Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut, in January of 1971. The show was just a couple of months after Young released his classic “After the Goldrush” album.
It is a quiet and personal show. I do not think Young’s voice ever sounded better. There are two songs — “Tell Me Why” and “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” — from the recently released 50th anniversary reissue of “After the Gold Rush.”
There also are three songs — “Old Man”, “A Man Needs A Maid” and “Heart Of Gold” — from his classic album “Harvest,” which was then still nearly a year away from its official release in 1972.
Other songs from that Shakespeare Theatre solo show include “Helpless,” “Down By the River,” “Sugar Mountain,” “Ohio,” “The Needle and the Damage Done” and “Cowgirl In the Sand.” All are acoustic versions. Some are rare.
The recording of this awesome concert will be released on LP and CD, plus a deluxe boxed edition that includes both LP and CD and, for the first time ever, a DVD of the concert.
“’Young Shakespeare’ is a very special event. To my fans, I say this is the best ever ... one of the most pure sounding acoustic performances we have in the Archive,” says Young at neilyoungarchives.com.
I am sold. I cannot wait for this one.
Rock Cesario owns Triple Play Records, 530 Main St. Email him at email@example.com.