Archive for June, 2013

Here at the NYFAQ blog, we have made something of an executive decision not to post any setlists for the European Crazy Horse shows on the Alchemy tour – at least, not until we see any significant changes (which so far, there really haven’t been).

That said, the recent addition of an acoustic version of Dylan’s “Blowin’ In The Wind” (last played – much more loudly – on Crazy Horse’s Ragged Glory/Weld run some twenty years ago) – gets no complaints from us.

Were still looking for that truly nutty something like “Change Your Mind” or “T-Bone.” This might have once seemed totally unrealistic, and out of the woods.

But after Australia, with rarely played songs from Zuma and – of all things – ReAcTor, showing up out of nowhere, one has to assume anything is still possible.

In the meantime, this’ll do nicely.

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Some 45 years after its original release, Stephen Stills is finally recording the long-awaited sequel to the legendary 1968 Super Session album.

Well, almost…

The original Super Session recording, was billed at the time as a dream collaboration between Stills, Mike Bloomfield (Electric Flag) and Al Kooper (The Blues Project, Blood Sweat & Tears). Now considered to be a classic, Super Session spotlighted the guitar skills of Bloomfield on one side and Stills on the other, but also featured keyboards by Kooper and Bloomfield’s Electric Flag bandmate Barry Goldberg.

An eleven minute cover of Donovan’s “Season Of The Witch” from the album received significant airplay on FM rock stations at the time, and remained a staple of the format for several years.

But although they both played on the Super Session album, Stills and Goldberg had never actually met, at least until now. Brought together at long last by manager Elliot Roberts (best known, of course, for guiding the career of occasional Stills bandmate Neil Young), the two musicians began writing with the idea of a long-awaited, blues-oriented sequel to the 1968 Super Session in mind.

Says Barry Goldberg of the collaboration:

“It was like finding a long lost soul brother. We connected on so many things, started jamming, and soon had begun writing our first song.”

However, with the addition of blues-guitar wunderkind Kenny Wayne Shepherd bringing an obvious multi-generational spin into the mix, the project grew into something much bigger. The Rides, described by Stills as “the blues band of my dreams,” will release their debut album, Can’t Get Enough on August 26th.

Produced by Talking Heads veteran Jerry Harrison, The Rides’ Can’t Get Enough combines newly written originals like the title track, and unearthed gems like “Word Game” (a song Stills wrote during his late ’60s era with Buffalo Springfield, but never recorded), with well-chosen covers by blues greats Elmore James (“Talk To Me Baby”) and Muddy Waters (“Honey Bee”).

The band also offers up new takes on Iggy And The Stooges punk classic “Search And Destroy” and Neil Young’s classic rock anthem “Rockin’ In The Free World.”

“The Rides are a perfect mix of generations, where three musicians who love and play the blues collide and create music that goes beyond all our other individual life experiences and career achievement,” says Shepherd. “Stephen and I have rock backgrounds as well, but the blues is the fabric that holds this all together.”

Rounding out the lineup for The Rides Can’t Get Enough are drummer Chris Layton (who has played with both Shepherd and Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Double Trouble) and bassist Kevin McCormick (CSN, Jackson Browne). A world tour for The Rides is expected to follow the August 26 release of Can’t Get Enough.

Track Listing:

Road House
That’s a Pretty Good Love
Don’t Want Lies
Search and Destroy
Can’t Get Enough of Loving You
Honey Bee
Rockin’ In The Free World
Talk To Me Baby
Only Teardrops Fall
Word Game

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With the Alchemy tour set to resume in Europe – and with Neil Young & Crazy Horse opening up the setlists a bit more during their most recent leg of Australian shows – we thought it might be kind of fun, to come up with our own wishlist of those rarely played songs we’d most love to see make a surprise appearance on the upcoming European run.

In truth, we’d be shocked – albeit in the most ecstatic possible way – to see any of these actually make the cut.

But as the recent Australian run proved – with rarities from Zuma and ReAcTor showing up out of nowhere – anything is really possible at this point.

What we do know, is that all of these songs have been played with Crazy Horse at one point or another (with the lone exception being Freedom’s “Don’t Cry,” at least as far as we know). To back this up, we have also found some great video evidence, which we have also elected to happily share here.

This is by no means the definitive Neil Young & Crazy Horse wish for a fan’s dream set though.

Honestly, we could have spent days compiling our own dream list (and NYFAQ readers are welcome to add their own in the comments).

But hearing even one of these songs played during the remaining shows on the Alchemy tour, would certainly have to rank as one of those genuine “holy shit!” moments, that would make most of us Rusties swear they had just ingested very some powerful honey slides.

5.) Driftin’ Back (Source: Official Psychedelic Pill video)

This is really the only real no-brainer here.

The most epic song from Psychedelic Pill is long overdue for a crazy, rusted-out, live mega-workout from the mighty Horse. Of the three lengthiest jams from Psychedelic Pill – the other two being “Ramada Inn” and “Walk Like A Giant” – the longest, and arguably the trippiest of them all, remains the last to see an extended version played on the Twisted Road.

4.) Southern Pacific (Source: ReAcTor)

Since the Horse – quite shockingly – decided to revisit the ReAcTor album on their shows down under, we say this. Why not go all the way with it?

“Southern Pacific” has been played live before of course. But as far as we know, only in a more countrified version with the International Harvesters circa 1984-85, and in a handful of solo acoustic performances. To the best of our knowledge, it has never been performed onstage with Crazy Horse, and even if so, would have to qualify as the truest of rarities.

The chugging rhythm guitar of the original version from ReAcTor powers this song along like an unstoppable locomotive, and could make for some explosive fireworks with the Horse live. As a second choice, we’d also settle for the apocalyptic chaos of “Shots” in a heartbeat, though.

3.) Don’t Cry (Source: Fox Theater, St. Louis, Missouri, 01-11-1989 (with The Restless)

Here again, as far as we know, this louder than God track from Freedom has never been played live by Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and we are also relatively sure it hasn’t been played since those amazing 1989 shows with the Restless.

But if there is any heavier song in the Neil Young catalog crying out for the rusted-out Crazy Horse live concert treatment than this…well, you are certainly welcome to let us know about it in the comments section.

2.) Goin’ Home (Source: Fuji Rock Festival 7-28-2001)

Holy MF’n shit, does this rock! This often-overlooked gem from Are You Passionate? was played near nightly on CSNY’s 2002 reunion tour. But live versions of this song with Crazy Horse – said to have been originally recorded for the scrapped Toast album – are much harder to come by.

If the version heard here is any indication, it may be high time to resurrect this roaring monster – and one of the best of Neil’s great lost “Indian songs” – from the grave.

1.) Change Your Mind (Source: Farm-Aid 1994)

If Neil Young were to ever take a cue from Bruce Springsteen (and other such legacy artists of rock’s classic era), and perform some of his greatest albums live in their original sequence, the massively underrated Sleeps With Angels would rank high among those we’d most love to see. But since we know that’s not the way Neil normally does business, we’d definitely settle for a fresh take on this unheralded classic.

“Change Your Mind” easily takes a rightful place alongside “Cortez,” “Hurricane” and “Down By The River” as one of the all-time greatest, extended Crazy Horse guitar epics. But because it received nowhere near the same radio airplay, qualifies as one of those lesser-known classics treasured by hardcore fans, but very rarely played in concert.

Personally, we think it’s high time that Neil Young & Crazy Horse rectified that, and we can think of no better arena than the European leg of the Alchemy tour to reintroduce this electrified eulogy to the fallen soul of Kurt Cobain

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