A blog about music from Canada and beyond.

Long reads, short reads and bite-size bits.
Nicholas Jennings

Music Review: Neil Young + Promise of the Real - The Monsanto Years

Music Review: Neil Young + Promise of the Real - The Monsanto Years
It’s not just the agrochemical multinational corporation that Young targets on his new protest album, but big-box chains like Wal-Mart and Starbucks that are “too big to fail, too rich for jail.” Working with Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah, the raging rock legend tackles topics from worker exploitation to genetically modified foods.
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Nicholas Jennings

Neil Young - A Letter Home

neilNeil often defies expectations. Here, he releases a collection of tunes by his favorite songwriters recorded in a retro recording booth—with instant, if decidedly lo-fi results. Neil’s fans won’t mind: hearing the legendary rocker sing intimate covers of songs by Bob Dylan and others is priceless. Among the standouts are his takes on Willie Nelson’s “Crazy” and Bruce Springsteen’s “My Hometown.” Best of all are Neil’s versions of Gordon Lightfoot’s classics “Early Morning Rain” and “If You Could Read My Mind.” A tribute from Canadian icon to an...
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Nicholas Jennings

Feature Article: Neil Young covers Lightfoot

earlymorningrainuk copyNeil Young is the latest artist to cover Gordon Lightfoot's 1966 classic "Early Morning Rain." He recorded the song at the Farm Aid concert in Saratoga Springs, NY on September 21, 2013. It's one of Lightfoot fans' most beloved compositions. Lightfoot wrote the song, which includes the memorable line "you can't jump a jet plane, like you can a freight train," based on his memories of living in Los Angeles as a music student and watching "big 707" jetliners taking off from LAX. Now Young is recording "Early Morning Rain" as part of a new album o...
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Nicholas Jennings

Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill

neilpsychWith his memoir and this two-disc set, Neil’s in a reflective mood. Lengthy jams like “Driftin’ Back” and “Walk Like a Giant” are angry accounts of Sixties idealism’s failure, but the rock legend pays sweet tribute to his Ontario roots, wife Pegi, and their disabled son, Ben, on songs like “For the Love of Man.”
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Nicholas Jennings

Neil Young - Are You Passionate?

Neil Young - Are You Passionate?The Flannel-Shirted One, a soul singer? Backed by Booker T & the MGs, you might think Neil has such pretensions. It’s a bad idea, an oil-and-water solution in which Neil’s squeaky, croaky falsetto never blends with the band’s tight rhythmic groove. Nor are the songs, including  “Let’s Roll,” Neil’s homage to the fighting spirit of Todd Beamer, the doomed hero of Flight 93, anything to write home to Winnipeg about.  But, like Dylan, the man’s entitled to the occasional dud.
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Nicholas Jennings

Canadian Songbook - Neil Young tribute

Canadian Songbook - Neil Young tribute
A long-haired figure sat alone onstage in a plaid shirt, blue jeans and construction boots. With just an acoustic guitar and, occasionally, a piano, he sang 18 songs—many of them brand new—to an adoring, sold-out audience. There was magic in the air. When Neil Young played Massey Hall on January 19, 1971, it was a triumphant homecoming for the Toronto-born troubadour, who’d left five years earlier to find fame in California. The concert proved to be a watershed event, forever sealing Young’s reputation as a formidable artist and a national icon...
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