Neil Young is one of our greatest living musicians who writes so beautifully about the American experience. He’s always cagey and fun and eloquent and challenging. Neil’s new album is out this week, and it is called “A Treasure” and the music lives up to the album naming.
Neil sings with the International Harvesters on this album — and for those of us not in the know, an International Harvester is a tractor brand — so Neil is in full overalls mode with tongue firmly wadded in cheek for the entire album — and we’re with him all the way to the hoedown with a blade of grass drooping from the corner of our mouths.
Here’s the Rolling Stone take on the effort:
Neil Young changed guises at a furious pace in the early Eighties. In 1982, he was making vocoder-slathered New Wave; the following year, he staged a rockabilly revival. Then, in 1984, Young shifted gears toward classic country. Touring with the International Harvesters, an eight-piece group of Nashville pros, Young performed both countryfied versions of his classics and cuts from his 1985 album Old Ways.
He also debuted five brand-new tracks that had been shelved until this live album, which cherry-picks from the Harvesters’ gigs. “Amber Jean” is a lovely tribute to his newborn daughter, while “Grey Riders” is a lost epic that suggests Crazy Horse with a twang infusion. The oldies shine too: “Flying on the Ground Is Wrong” sounds as if it originated with the Flying Burrito Brothers instead of Buffalo Springfield.
I will buy anything and everything Neil Young releases. I’m a fan. I don’t care if the music is good or not — it is excellent on “A Treasure” — all I care about is sitting down and listening to an old friend sing to me.
Here’s the iTunes Ping! proof-of-purchase so you know I place my money where my reviews land:
You may not be a mighty fan of country music, but if you trust Neil Young, and if you honor his talent and if you respect his talent to sing and entertain — then it doesn’t matter what type of music you prefer, because Neil Young has the uncanny ability to make all music Neil Young Music, and that’s why we are lifelong fans of the man.