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Third Man Records has posted the cover art and track listing for Neil Young’s upcoming new album A Letter Home.

Front:
letterhome_front

Back:
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As expected, the album is a “low-tech” mix of cover songs, recorded in the record booth at Jack White’s Third Man Records. Production on the album is credited to Jack White & Neil Young on the back cover.

Interestingly, although a release date is not given on the Third Man site, the album is listed as being “in stock” and available to order for $20.00. If any of our readers tries to order it, please let us know if you receive your copy – in which case, we will be all too happy to report that Neil Young’s A Letter Home is apparently out now.

Here is the track listing for A Letter Home: (Thanks to Third Man Records)

1. Changes (Ochs)
2. Girl From The North Country (Dylan)
3. Needle Of Death (Jansch)
4. Early Morning Rain (Lightfoot)
5. Crazy (Nelson)
6. Reason To Believe (Hardin)
7. On The Road Again (Nelson)
8. If You Could Read My Mind (Lightfoot)
9. Since I Met You Baby (Hunter)
10.My Hometown (Springsteen)
11.I Wonder If I Care As Much (Everly)

Update: Several internet sources, including JamBase, are now reporting that Neil Young’s A Letter Home is in fact now available for sale, and can be ordered (in vinyl format only) from Third Man Records. The vinyl album will also be available for sale at select, independent record stores for Saturday’s annual National Record Store Day festivities.

Yes, it’s OUT!

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When it comes to expansive, career-spanning boxed sets, Neil Young’s former guitarist could just end up giving the “big guy” a run for the money.

Nils Lofgren, a key player on such Neil Young classics as After The Gold Rush, Tonight’s The Night and Trans will release his own answer to the “Archives” on May 27, in the form of Face The Music, a ten-disc boxed set comprising 169 tracks, including 40 rare and previously unreleased recordings.

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Face The Music focuses on Nils Lofgren’s work as a solo artist, tracing his career from his early work with the Washington D.C. based band Grin, through his critically acclaimed solo albums for major labels like Cry Tough and Crooked Line, all the way up through his 2011 indie release Old School.

No track listing has yet been made available, and Lofgren’s work as a guitarist for both Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band is unlikely to figure into the set. But in a recent Rolling Stone interview, Lofgren did reveal the collection will include a rare version of “Keith, Don’t Go” with Neil Young on vocals and piano.

Face The Music will also include a detailed, lavishly illustrated 136-page booklet, with an introduction by noted rock journalist Dave Marsh, and testimonials from Young, Springsteen, Bono, Eddie Vedder, Sting and others. The set also includes a DVD featuring 20 video clips selected from performances throughout Nils career. Face The Music will be available through Concord Music May 27.

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Update: Here is the full track listing for Face The Music:

(Thanks to SuperDeluxeEdition)

Disc One (Grin years 1971-1973):

1. See What a Love Can Do 5:01
2. Everybody’s Missin’ the Sun 2:44
3. Like Rain 3:40
4. Outlaw 4:02
5. If I Were a Song 3:10
6. We All Sung Together 3:43
7. Take You to the Movies Tonight 1:45
8. White Lies 3:28
9. Slippery Fingers 4:00
10. Moon Tears 2:18
11. Lost a Number 3:09
12. Soft Fun 5:40
13. Hi, Hello Home 2:29
14. Love or Else 3:40
15. Sad Letter 3:11
16. Ain’t Love Nice 2:09
17. She Ain’t Right 3:27
18. All Out 3:01
19. Rusty Gun 2:20
20. Beggar’s Day (Eulogy To Danny Whitten) 4:18
21. One More Time 5:10

Disc Two (solo years 1975-1977):

1. One More Saturday Night 3:06
2. If I Say It, It’s So 3:03
3. Can’t Buy a Break 3:15
4. Back It Up 2:23
5. I Don’t Want to Know (Live Bootleg Version) 3:48
6. The Sun Hasn’t Set on This Boy Yet 2:48
7. Rock and Roll Crook 2:53
8. Two by Two 3:04
9. Cry Tough 5:06
10. It’s Not a Crime 4:12
(Nils Lofgren & Tom Lofgren)
11. Share a Little 5:13
12. Can’t Get Closer (WCGC) 3:43
13. Mud in Your Eye 2:40
14. I Came to Dance 4:30
15. Home Is Where the Hurt Is 4:12
16. Rock Me at Home 4:30
17. You’re the Weight (Live/1977) 5:09
18. Goin’ South (Live/1977) 4:59
19. Incidentally… It’s Over (Live/1977) 4:08

Disc Three (solo years 1979-1983):

1. No Mercy 4:06
2. Shine Silently 3:34 (Nils Lofgren-Dick Wagner)
3. Steal Away 4:05 (Nils Lofgren-Dick Wagner)
4. I Found Her 3:33 (Nils Lofgren-Lou Reed)
5. You’re So Easy 6:00 (Nils & Tom Lofgren-Bob Ezrin-Dick Wagner)
6. A Fool Like Me 3:09 (Nils Lofgren-Lou Reed)
7. Night Fades Away 4:23
8. Ancient History 4:51
9. Sailor Boy 3:55
10. Empty Heart 3:03
11. Don’t Touch Me 4:02
12. I Go to Pieces 2:53 (Del Shannon)
13. Across the Tracks 2:52
14. Daddy Dream 4:53
15. Wonderland 3:32
16. Room Without Love 3:03
17. Confident Girl 3:06
18. Into the Night 3:45
19. Deadline 4:09
20. Everybody Wants 3:42

Disc Four (solo years 1985-1992):

1. Secrets in the Street 4:33
2. Big Tears Fall 6:07
3. Dreams Die Hard 3:32
4. Girl in Motion 5:51
5. Walkin’ Nerve 3:53
6. Trouble’s Back 5:20
7. Bein’ Angry 5:54
8. Valentine 6:13
9. A Child Could Tell 4:20
10. You 3:30
11. Shot At You 5:48
12. Crooked Line 4:55
13. Someday 5:32
14. New Kind of Freedom 3:41
15. Drunken Driver 6:28

Disc Five (self-released 1993-1998):

1. Alone 6:08
2. No Return 3:54
3. Tender Love 8:37
4. Dreams Come True 4:23
5. Out of the Grave 8:09
6. Lion’s Wake 2:16
7. Damaged Goods 3:43
8. Only Five Minutes 5:27
9. Setting Sun 3:42
10. Life 3:07 (Nils Lofgren-Lou Reed)
11. Nothin’s Fallin’ 5:06
12. Little On Up 5:02
13. Blue Skies 4:02
14. Black Books 5:24
15. Man in the Moon 3:19
16. Believe 3:46

Disc Six (self-released 1997-2001):

1. Delivery Night 5:01
2. Code of the Road 8:20
3. New Holes in Old Shoes 5:10
4. Puttin’ Out Fires 6:22
5. I Found You 4:35
6. Love a Child 2:57
7. Driftin’ Man 3:06 (Nils Lofgren-Lou Reed)
8. Without You 3:43
9. Heaven’s Answer to Blue 4:17
10. Seize Love 5:30
11. Open Road 3:13
12. Speed Kills 3:11
13. I’m Buyin’ 2:52
14. The Wind 4:27
15. We Got Guys 1:07
16. Hard Lines 1:02
17. Tears on Ice 4:46
18. Misery 4:43

Disc Seven (self-released 2002-2011):

1. Like Rain 4:52
2. The Star-Spangled Banner 2:39
3. In Your Hands 3:19
4. Mr. Hardcore 5:07
5. Tried and True 1:56
6. Frankie Hang On 3:43
7. Fat Girls Dance 4:37
8. I Am a Child 3:13 (Neil Young)
9. Mr. Soul 4:21 (Neil Young)
10. World on a String 3:16 (Neil Young)
11. Old School 3:12
12. 60 Is the New 18 3:02
13. Miss You Ray 2:39
14. Amy Joan Blues 2:42
15. Dream Big 4:31
16. Irish Angel 5:10 (Bruce McCabe)
17. Ain’t Too Many of Us Left 4:41
18. When You Were Mine 4:33
19. Why Me 4:24
20. Wreck on the Highway 4:37 (Bruce Springsteen)

Disc Eight (unreleased):

1. Keith Don’t Go 3:33
2. Try 3:36
3. Sing for Happiness 3:15
4. Duty 3:28
5. Sweet Four Wings 3:48
6. Just to Have You 2:17
7. I’ll Arise 2:51
8. Some Must Dream 4:46
9. Stay Hungry 3:41
10. Heaven’s Rain 3:36
11. Whatever Happened to Muscatel 2:49
12. You In My Arms 2:48
13. Here for You 3:37
14. Hide My Heart 4:22
15. Love Is. . . 4:28
16. Awesome Girl 3:36
17. When You Are Loved 2:55
18. Bullets Fever 3:06
19. Message 11:20

Disc Nine (unreleased):

1. Beauty and the Beast 3:42
2. You Are the Melody 3:24
3. Tears Inside 3:32
4. Face the Music 4:48
5. I Don’t Stand a Chance 3:28
6. What Is Enuf?!! 4:02
7. London 4:03
8. Go Away 4:09
9. Heart Like A Hammer 4:11
10. True Love Conquers Legends 3:40
11. Yankee Stadium 3:02
12. Sad Walk 5:23
13. Dalmatian 4:05
14. I’m Coming Back 3:59 (Tom Lofgren)
15. Mad, Mad World 3:31
16. Jhoon Rhee Ad :28
17. It’s Better to Know You 2:43
18. Last Time I Saw You 2:03
19. Mist and Morning Rain 2:49
20. Miss You “C” 2:38
21. Oh Holy Night (Strings, Choir Arranged & Conducted by Kevin Stoller) 2:58 (A. Adams-J. Dwight)

Disc Ten (DVD):

1. Windy (Flip Combo) 2:03
2. Dream Big 5:18
3. Too Many Miles 7:35
4. Keith Don’t Go 7:13
5. Bein’ Angry 4:45
6. Shine Silently 7:03
7. Big Tears Fall 5:18
8. I Found You 6:10
9. No Mercy 4:24
10. Gun and Run 8:03
11. See What Love Can Do 8:03
12. If I Were a Song 3:03
13. Slippery Fingers 4:23
14. Like Rain 4:12
15. Moon Tears 5:25
16. I Came to Dance 11:42
17. Everybody’s Missin’ the Sun 3:29
18. Ain’t Love Nice 2:35
19. I’ll Arise 3:04
20. Nils Lofgren: The Art of Adapting 8:11

NeilDolbyposter

The wonderful work of Jeff Allen is of course no secret to readers of Neil Young FAQ, since he is the man responsible for the book’s amazing cover shot – a previously unseen photo of Neil Young taken during the 1969 TV taping of ABC’s short-lived Music Scene show, with Crosby Stills Nash & Young.

So, obviously we were delighted when Jeff contacted us earlier this week to let us know that he had scored prime seats for Neil’s four-night run of solo acoustic shows at the prestigious Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

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Best of all, Jeff Allen attended the show with camera in tow.

As these photos – published here for the first time anywhere – show, it is also clear that Jeff hasn’t lost his touch all these years later. The following is just a short sample of what Jeff was able to capture, despite what he described as the sort of very heavy security one might expect at a Neil Young show these days:

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Man, will you just look at all of those guitars!

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Thanks again Jeff, and we’ll try our best to do better getting you a photo-pass next time!

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*You can find more of Jeff Allen’s work at the Cache Agency.

Neil Young’s Official Series 2 Vinyl Box Set, the limited edition vinyl package originally scheduled for a special release to coincide with the annual Record Store Day on April 19, 2014, has been delayed until November, according to a press release issued by Young’s label Warner Bros. last week.

The boxed set – which will be limited to 3500 vinyl copies – had been highly anticipated by Neil Young fans, because it also marks the first official reissue of Neil Young’s long out-of-print 1973 album Time Fades Away. The box also includes the remaining “Ditch Trilogy” albums On The Beach and Tonight’s The Night, as well as Zuma.

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According to the March 19 press release from Warner Bros.:

Neil Young and Warner Bros. Records have announced that they must delay the release of Young’s upcoming Neil Young Official Series 2 Vinyl Box Set, which was intended to come out on Record Store Day, due to several other projects that Young has in the works that he wishes to focus on. A November release date for the set, which includes the classic albums Time Fades Away, On The Beach, Tonight’s The Night and Zuma, will be announced soon. Rest assured, it will be worth the wait!

Presumably, these “other projects” include Young’s long-discussed digital music delivery device Pono, which was successfully launched this past week during the annual South By Southwest music conference in Austin, after a successful Kickstarter campaign which raised two million dollars (the goal was $800K).

The new Neil Young studio album, A Letter Home, which features a selection of covers recorded in the record booth at Jack White’s Third Man Records, is also expected sometime this spring.

White himself reportedly appears on two songs. Neil Young is also reportedly putting the final touches on a new book scheduled for release this fall titled Special Deluxe, which is a followup to his 2012 memoir Waging Heavy Peace.

In the meantime, a new round of solo acoustic shows have been scheduled for Dallas and Chicago, in addition to a previously announced Los Angeles run. Here are the updated dates (so far) for Neil Young’s mini American tour this spring:

03/29 – Hollywood, CA @ Dolby Theatre
03/30 – Hollywood, CA @ Dolby Theatre
04/01 – Hollywood, CA @ Dolby Theatre
04/02 – Hollywood, CA @ Dolby Theatre
04/17 – Dallas, TX @ Meyerson Symphony Center
04/18 – Dallas, TX @ Meyerson Symphony Center
04/21 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre
04/22 – Chicago, IL @ Chicago Theatre

Time Fades Away – the infamous 1973 Neil Young live recording that has been called everything from his great, lost record to the “missing link in the Ditch Trilogy” – is finally getting a long-overdue, official re-release (albeit a limited one).

According to a press release from Young’s record label Warner Brothers issued on Monday, Time Fades Away will be part of a limited edition, boxed set titled Official Release Series Discs 5-8 , set to be released as part of this year’s Record Store Day on April 19, 2014.

The boxed-set will be limited to 3500 copies, and available only on 180-gram black vinyl (no CD). In addition to Time Fades Away, Official Release Series Discs 5-8 appropriately also includes Neil Young’s other two “Ditch Trilogy” albums (On The Beach and Tonight’s The Night), as well as Zuma. T-shirts featuring reproductions of the original album covers are also planned for the Record Store Day promotion.

This marks the first official reissue of the Time Fades Away album since it’s original release in 1973. The album still has yet to be officially released on CD, even though Neil Young’s fans have long clamored for it. The last time a CD reissue was rumored was back in 1995, but was said to have been pulled at the last minute by what many believe was Neil Young himself.

Young has made his dislike for the Time Fades Away recording clear in a number of interviews over the years, saying that he put it out anyway at the time so “folks could see what could happen if you lose it for a while.” An online petition by fans calling for a CD release has gathered some 16,000 signatures since 2005.

Interestingly, Neil Young has also recently teased the existence of a “Time Fades Away 2,” and has even gone so far to suggest that it could be part of the next volume of the ongoing Archives project. Like the original, TFA2 is said to be a live recording from his 1972 tour with the Stray Gators, consisting entirely of never heard, previously unreleased songs.

Neil Young will reportedly release his next album, A Letter Home, later this month through Jack White’s Third Man Records. At the end of this month, Neil Young will be performing a series of solo acoustic concerts, as part of a four-night stand on March 29 and 30, and April 1-2 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Young will also embark on an European tour with Crazy Horse this summer.

A new Neil Young album could be in stores as early as this March, according to several reports published on the internet yesterday.

In a short interview with Rolling Stone, Neil Young himself describes the new album, titled A Letter Home, as “one of the lowest-tech experiences I’ve ever had.”

neilbooth

Outside of the title, few other details have emerged about the new album. However, the “low-tech” description does seem to match up with rumors earlier this month about a possible album of cover songs, said to have been recorded with Jack White. What is known for sure, is that last year, Young recorded a cover version of Bert Jansch’s song “Needle Of Death” in the very low-tech confines of the Record Booth located at White’s Third Man Records.

From here, the already murky waters surrounding the mysterious A Letter Home were further muddied with conflicting social media reports, citing sources close to both Young and White.

Neil Young’s Facebook page flat out denies these reports, saying “Neil Young and Jack White are not doing a record of duets as has been erroneously posted on various outlets.” Meanwhile, Third Man Records tweeted their own message about A Letter Home, calling it “An unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology.”

Adding to these rumors, a number of the internet reports go on to speculate that the album will be a joint release through Warner Bros., White’s Third Man, and Neil Young’s own label. All of this of course, remains to be seen.

Another interesting wrinkle to the story, was Neil Young’s official announcement that his long-awaited PONO digital music system will be rolled out at this year’s South by Southwest conference, which also takes place this March. Young made the announcement during his acceptance speech for the “President’s Merit” award from the Grammy Producers and Engineers Wing, earlier this week.

During the same speech, he also announced the new album, leading to the flood of conflicting stories on the internet. A Letter Home would be the first album of new material from Neil Young since 2012′s Americana and Psychedelic Pill collections with Crazy Horse. Most recently, Neil Young wrapped up the series of acoustic Canadian benefit shows called Honour The Treaties.

UPDATE: Rolling Stone is reporting today that Neil Young’s A Letter Home will be released in March on Jack White’s Third Man Records. According to the report, a message credited to “Homer Grosvenor” was posted on both Young and Third Man’s websites yesterday announcing the album.

As soon as we know more, we will post updates here. Stay Tuned.

Music Review: Neil Young – ‘Live At The Cellar Door’

Ever since Neil Young’s now ongoing Archives Performance Series finally made its debut a few years back, the results have yielded a steady and mostly satisfying trickle of rare and vintage concert recordings – the exact stuff that hardcore fans had, up until now, long salivated for.

neilcellardoorThat string continues with Live At The Cellar Door.

This is a collection which condenses the best of a six-night, 1970 solo acoustic stand at the tiny Washington D.C. club (200 seat capacity), just before Neil Young broke through to full-on superstardom as a solo artist with the classic After The Gold Rush album.

What makes this release unique, is that it captures Neil Young in a raw, intimate setting at a pivotal point in his career.

At the time these concerts took place, Neil Young was far from the instantly recognizable name he is now. Rather, he was most often referred to as the “Y” in Crosby Stills Nash & Young – the American supergroup, who had actually quietly broken up not long before these shows took place.

Many of the songs included on this recording come from Young’s at-the-time still unreleased third solo album – the aforementioned After The Gold Rush – including a particularly haunting version of the title track, which sounds positively gorgeous here.

However, for those who have been playing catchup with this series, there is more than a little repetition in the track lists that bookend Cellar Door, with the previously released Archives acoustic sets from 1968 (Canterbury House) and 1971 (Massey Hall).

Each of these offer something special, and provide good reason for any self-respecting Neil Young completist to want all three. With Canterbury House, it’s the stripped-down versions of early Young classics “Broken Arrow” and “I’ve Been Waiting For You.” On Massey Hall, it’s the once-played “A Man Needs A Maid/Heart Of Gold” suite.

On Live At The Cellar Door, Neil’s first ever solo acoustic performance of “Cinnamon Girl” at the piano (which he acknowledges at the end), and the equally rare “Flying On The Ground Is Wrong,” certainly qualify as must-own moments for those fans who already have it all, yet somehow missed this. On the latter, Young’s comments about the Steinway piano he plays as an admitted amateur at the time – he seems particularly struck by the sound made when he strokes the raw wires – are both amusing and endearing.

Ironically, with Live At The Cellar Door, you could make a pretty good case for these three acoustic performances completing yet another trilogy of recordings, coming from an artist who is already quite well known for recording some of his most importantly recognized albums in a series of threes.

But beyond that – and particularly for more casual fans who may happen across this release while shopping for that picky Rustie on their Christmas list – there is considerable overlap in the track list here and the other solo acoustic concerts, already available from this series.

Each of these represent unique stages in Neil Young’s career. The reluctant performer heard on the 1968 Canterbury House recording was reportedly so nervous he nearly didn’t go on; the more confident one heard on 1971′s Massey Hall was about to release the biggest record of his artistic life, and so on.

Live At The Cellar Door is an equally pivotal chapter in that story, capturing Neil Young at a unique crossroads between these two extremes – an artist right on the verge of making the jump from small halls like the Cellar Door to the big arenas.

Still, and for all of its historical significance, there is just no getting around the fact that Live At The Cellar Door comes off sounding somewhat redundant, in light of the previously released acoustic concerts from this series. You can’t fault what’s actually here, other than for the simple reason that we’ve already heard most of it.

Hopefully, this completes Neil Young’s latest trilogy, so we can get on to all the rest of those legendary performances we’ve been hearing about for years, like Crazy Horse at the Catalyst; The Trans Tour; those pre-Freedom shows with The Restless, and…

Well, you get it.

Happy Holidays everyone, and until next year, keep on rockin’ in the free world.

This article was first published at Blogcritics Magazine.

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