With his most recent 2012/13 “Year of the Horse” apparently now concluded (albeit prematurely due to Frank “Poncho” Sampedro’s hand injury), the burning question on the minds of many Rusties is “What’s Next for Neil Young?”
Here is what we currently know.
After getting two new studio albums with Crazy Horse out in 2012, it appears unlikely there will be a new Neil Young album (at least of new material) in 2013. It is however, still entirely possible that the latest volume of the Archives Performance Series, Live At Cellar Door 1970, could be in stores before the year is out (although the rumored September release date has obviously come and gone).
What is also known is that some of the just concluded Alchemy tour shows were filmed (most notably in Australia) for a possible live CD/DVD release.
While Neil Young’s artistic muse often tends to pull him in multiple directions at the same time, his two live performances during September may also provide a few clues. A brand new song, apparently titled “Drive My Car” made its live debut during a surprise appearance at a Pegi Young club show at Johnny D’s in Somerville, MA on 9/11/13.
Neil also seems to be refocusing on political issues like climate change, as evidenced during his acoustic set at this year’s Farm-Aid. Interestingly, the Farm-Aid setlist also focused heavily on cover songs like Tim Hardin’s “Reason To Believe” and this version of the late, great Phil Ochs song “Changes.”
During his pre-song rap, Neil also talked about Ochs’ death by suicide, comparing it to the premature death of a musician he knew (Kurt Cobain?), and becoming visibly irritated when someone in the crowd yells “C’mon, let’s go.”
There is also the potential of a Crosby Stills Nash & Young reunion. What we know for sure is that CSNY will be performing an acoustic set at this year’s Bridge School concerts. There is also the long anticipated 1974 “Doom Tour” boxed set, which is expected to see the light of day early next year.
Could a full-on CSNY reunion tour also be in the works? Recent history with the Buffalo Springfield reunion – short lived as it turned out to be – suggests it’s at least a strong possibility.
Adding to the possibilities which may lie ahead are the expected 2014 launch of the Pono music delivery system, and the always lingering possibility of a 2014 release for the second volume of the Archives. With Neil Young, things of course can, and often do change on a dime.