New/Unreleased Neil Young Hits Web

 

“It’s the same song
over and over again”: well, not necessarily. Young unveils a slew of new songs
on his current tour. See a video clip, below.

 

By Fred Mills

 

It’s no secret that when Neil Young decides to go out on a
solo tour he often previews brand new material (not to mention pulling out
older, unreleased rarities). This is certainly the case, in spades, with his
current “Twisted Road” tour, which kicked off May 18 in Albany and runs through
June 7 in Dallas (more dates tba; tonight he’s in Knoxville, and you can view
the dates at his website).

 

As a pristine-to-the-point-of-perfect recording of the Albany concert that hit
the web a few days ago demonstrates, Young’s being quite generous with the
tunes, as no less than seven brand new ones, along with the obscure-and-unreleased
“The Hitchhiker,” were unveiled for the ecstatic audience at the Palace
Theatre. During the first set, which he performed on acoustic guitar, after
dispensing with a brace of old faves (“My My, Hey Hey,” “Tell Me Why” and
“Helpless”), Young then launched summarily into a trio of brand new vintage”
“You Never Call,” a soft, contemplative number with a subtle waltz feel;
“Peaceful Valley,” a long, 7-minute Americana study; and “Love and War,” an odd
number carrying overtones of both “MMHH” and “Eldorado.”

 

A couple of songs later, having strapped on the electric
guitar to kick out some solo jams, Young catapults into “The Hitchhiker,” a
droning, druggy, effects-drenched excursion into close-to-Sonic Youth
territory. (“Druggy” indeed: the lyrics concern taking hash, speed, valium,
cocaine and probably more.) After a smoking version of his CSNY classic “Ohio”
(the anniversary of Kent State wasn’t that long ago, remember), two more
unreleased numbers are performed: “Sign Of Love,” with some deceptive “Cinnamon
Girl”-meets-“Mr. Soul” styled slashing chords, and then, with Young moving over
to the upright piano, a somewhat slight, repetitive ditty called “Leia.”

 

Two more fresh tracks are uncorked by Young after he returns
to his electric guitar a little later in the concert. “Rumblin'” is a series of
intertwining melodies and overtones, darkly psychedelic but with a ballad-like
restraint. Then in the encore comes “Walk With Me,” which with its prolonged
tuning-up intro lasts nearly 8 minutes; the feedback-strafed number is eerie
and discordant, like some bastard descendant of the noisy section of the Arc/Weld album, and featuring Young
blurting the title phrase over and over. Freaky shit. You can see a partial
video clip of the song, below.

 

The concert as a whole is stuffed with plenty of goodies for
longtime fans, as the setlist, below, and this nice online review, reveals. Anyway,
the entire show, along with the delightful ten-song opening set by Young’s
touring companion, Bert Jansch, it out there on the web at all the usual
download sites. You know how to use Google, right?

 

Catch Young on tour for this one, folks – it’s a pretty
special one.

 

 

Setlist:

Intro/False Start
My My, Hey Hey (Out Of The Blue) [acoustic guitar]
Tell Me Why [acoustic guitar]
Helpless [acoustic guitar]
You Never Call * [acoustic guitar w/ pickup])
Peaceful Valley * [acoustic guitar w/ pickup]
Love And War * [acoustic guitar w/ pickup]
Down By The River [electric guitar – Old Black]

Hitchhiker * [electric guitar – Old Black]
Ohio
[electric guitar – White Falcon]

Sign Of Love * [electric guitar – White Falcon]

Leia * [upright piano]
After The Gold Rush [pump organ]
I Believe In You [grand piano]
Rumblin’ * [electric guitar – Old Black]
Cortez The Killer [electric guitar – Old Black])
Cinnamon Girl [electric guitar – Old Black]
(encores)
Walk With Me * [electric guitar – White Falcon]
Hey Hey, My My (Into The Black) [electric guitar – Old Black]

 

* = new/unreleased song

 

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