Neil Young – Carnegie Hall 2014 (The Godfather Records G.R. 975/976)
Carnegie Hall, New York, January 7, 2014
CD 1: From Hank To Hendrix, On The Way Home, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Love In Mind, Mellow My Mind, Are You Ready For The Country, Someday, Changes, Harvest, Old Man, Goin’ Back, A Man Needs A Maid, Ohio, Southern Man.
CD 2: Mr Soul, Needle Of Death, The Needle And The Damage Done, Harvest Moon, Flying On The Ground Is Is Wrong, After The Gold Rush, Heart Of Gold, Encore Break, Comes A Time, Long May You Run
BONUS TRACKS: Carnegie Hall, New York January 9, 2014
Helpless, Birds, Journey Through The Past
BONUS TRACKS: Carnegie Hall, New York January 10, 2014
Out Of My Mind
Carnegie Hall is perhaps one of the most famous music venue’s in the USA, and maybe even the world. Neil’s short four night run at the grand old concert hall offered us nothing really new, rather a journey into his musical past and offered up several tunes that have been on the live performance shelf for far too long in my opinion, with a special emphasis on Harvest, After the Gold Rush and tunes from Buffalo Springfield as well as covers of Bert Jansch’s Needle Of Death as well as a rendition of Phil Och’s Changes. The performance seemed quite relaxed as Young wandered about the stage between the multitude of instruments which surrounded him on stage. The voice, powerful as always was this time coupled with the Hall’s famous acoustics, making for a wonderful aural experience for concert goers.
Personal highlights for me…
There’s always one guy at a Neil Young concert screaming for “Southern Man,” but until last week he hadn’t played it since Farm Aid in 2005.
“The Needle of Death” (Bert Jansch)
Young has repeatedly called Bert Jansch the “Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar.” He freely admits to lifting the chords to “Ambulance Blues” from Jansch’s 1965 classic “The Needle of Death,” which he played every night at Carnegie Hall.
“On the Way Home”
This 1968 Buffalo Springfield song is one of Young’s first truly great tunes, but the label insisted that Richie Furay sing it on the album because he had a more mainstream singing voice.
Days after the Kent State massacre in May 1970, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young entered the studio and recorded this furious response. It was on the radio that same month. It’s somehow even more chilling when Young sings it by himself.
“Flying on the Ground Is Wrong”
This is another Buffalo Springfield song that Richie Furay originally sang. Young revived it on his 1999 solo acoustic tour and has played it only a handful of times since then.
This standout track from 1978’s Comes a Time was somehow only played once live until Young’s 1999 solo acoustic tour. It’s rarely sounded as magnificent as it did at Carnegie Hall.
“Mellow My Mind”
Only one song from Tonight’s the Night made the Carnegie Hall run, but it was a real gem. As he did on his 2007 theater tour, Young performed a heartfelt rendition of “Mellow My Mind” on the banjo.
The title track to Harvest was an extreme rarity until Young’s 2007 tour, when he played it most every night. The lyrics were inspired by the tumultuous childhood of Young’s onetime girlfriend Carrie Snodgress.
Young has played Buffalo Springfield’s “Mr. Soul” many times over the past five decades, but at Carnegie Hall he switched things up by doing it on the pump organ, completely transforming the rocker into something new.
Sound quality of this Godfather release is very good. One small quibble that I have is that the levels of the between song dialog seem quite low and hard to pick up at times, however this is not a big deal to me and the levels and quality of the songs themselves are spot on. Listening on headphones practically eliminates the problem and makes the experience almost like being there. Congratulations to Godfather for finding and producing this very fine source tape for us all to enjoy.
Packaging is standard Godfather fare and no GFR collector should be surprised. Clean, minimalist tri-fold cardboard jacket adorned with some very nice photos of Yound and his army of instruments on stage.
Neil Young fans, especially fans of the older material won’t want to miss this release. Both hardcore and casual fans alike should be extremely happy as I was. A++ rating from me!
If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)Neil Young - Carnegie Hall 2014 (The Godfather Records G.R. 975/976),