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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Highlights of Bridge School Benefit Concerts - 2009

Part #1

Part #2

Excerpts from the 23rd annual Bridge School Benefit concerts. Support the school by downloading songs from The Bridge School Collection on iTunes. Visit for more information.

Thanks BridgeSchooler!

Also, see Bridge School Benefit Concert Reviews - 2009 and Thoughts on Bridge School Benefit Weekend 2009.

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At 10/28/2009 06:02:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

not the most star studded Bridge, but solid and memorable performances.

At 10/28/2009 07:54:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, thanks to Thrasher for posting my previous criticism of Pegi's singing. It's great to have a place where you can post honest criticism. To continue from the previous thread, no matter how many people stand up for Pegi and try to declare she sang great, the audio is out there and says all that needs be said. Listen to Sunday's Hank to Hendrix and tell me she sounds great. Why do you think Neil had Sheryl join them for Harvest Moon? Cause it would have been a disaster without her. It's great that she's his muse and they're so in love and all these songs are written to her. It's a great love story but it doesn't make great music. I'm a consumer and music lover. I'm not going to pay to hear crap. It's been years since I bought an album or paid for a concert of Neil's. Not because I'm not a true fan. I am such a fan. I just can't take her bloody bashing away. It has nothing to do with bloody jealousy. It has to do with whether the sound is enjoyable or not. Neil used to be all about the music, about the sound. Not anymore, not with Pegi on backup. Just listen to that little clip of them at the end of the highlights. Great visual image, but the audio doesn't lie. And are you seriously trying to tell me that Linda and Yoko's singing enhanced their husbands' records and concerts? No wonder Neil's sales are down.

At 10/28/2009 08:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and do you consider Ben Keith a good singer, Mr Anon?

At 10/29/2009 04:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ben keith rocks
and can sing his ass off

At 10/29/2009 05:01:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, if we're on that topic… In my ears, it sounds like Neil himself is not really singing 'close harmony' either on all of his notes. And that's not for the first time if I remember well.

But really, you can't say you're a big fan and not realise Neil's music never ever has been a search for perfection. Listen to his singing on some of the tunes on 'Are you passionate'.

Peter Dees (Holland)

At 10/29/2009 06:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was listening to some old (2001) Neil and CH shows and I really miss them. I've enjoyed the recent band, even the backup singers, but it's time to cut away and bring back the Horse.

It seems like every time Neil tours of late, he brings his wife. I can't really argue with him.....but i'd prefer he'd go back to the Horse for a tour, minus the wife and others.

Johnny Rocket!

At 10/29/2009 11:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey whaddaya know, ol' thrasher deleted my comment because i suggested that neil's creativity is fading and pegi can't sing. imagine that. oh well. we now return you to your previously scheduled delusions, already in progress.


At 10/29/2009 02:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pegi needs to take herself out of the band. Anthony Crawford is gone and Neil keeps Pegi's "voice" instead? It's not about the music anymore. If Pegi had any respect for Neil's legacy and his music she'd step aside. I am embarrassed for her at this point. Pegi has allowed her ego to become more important then the music. What happened to the gracious lady we knew? Was that just an act?

At 10/29/2009 04:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is very dangerous ground but it should be possible to critisize Pegi`s singing without people taking it as an attack against her personally. I actually think she`s good as a background vocalist (for example with Emylou Harris on the Heart of Gold DVD or when she`s sung with Astrid) but I don`t think it works when she`s standing side by side with Neil. She doesn`t always harmonise right and often comes over as too shrill. Ben Keith isn`t always in tune either but his voice is quiter so it`s not so noticeable. No disrespect meant to Pegi or Neil or anyone else.


At 10/29/2009 05:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how could people get so unkind?

At 10/30/2009 08:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reading the above posts, in particular the very astute comment about Ben Keith (which I mistakenly took for Billy Talbot, and CH background vocals in general), I couldn’t help but think of the following quote from a Rolling Stone magazine interview:

"The Greendale stage show has the low-budget earnestness of the movie, like a high-school production of The Fantasticks.

The girl who plays Sun Green -- Sarah White -- is a friend of my daughter's from high school. I watched her and my daughter Amber in productions all through high school, and I became very impressed with what could be done with a couple of pieces of plywood. I don't need anything more. It fit with my sketchiness of things."

I can’t think of a better way to address the issue of the “imperfection” in Neil’s approach to performance standard, which after all these years a lot of people still have a hard time coming to grips with. I mean, we could go on and on and on about bent notes and off key vocals and rudimentary concert staging and FITR and blah blah blah blah blah. If you know anything about Neil’s music- and I think every post contributor in this thread does, you have to allow for the thrown together, and “imperfect” nature of much of what Neil has done. It’s a part of who he is, a major part of what makes his music immediate, heartfelt, honest, and sometimes wacky, all of which sometimes leaves you scratching your head- at first. From throwing Nils Lofgren onto an instrument he had never played for recordings that made it to vinyl, to the “non dominant” nature of his film making, to recording live to get the raw straight ahead take of new music that is devoid of over thinking and over production, and yes, to employing the vocals of wife Pegi, again we could go on and on. How many years are we going to devote to restating the fact that Neil’s music, career choices, and song writing are not “perfect” in the eyes of everyone? After a while, it just begs the question: When are the critics going to get that the things they criticize are the result of an attitude that simply doesn’t take into consideration what anyone or anything other than the artist- Neil, demands of the music?

The art is not about you, it’s about a unique expression. Part of the uniqueness in this case is a haphazard, spontaneous, less is more approach. Get over it. There are things that I wish he had done differently over the years, but then I just kind of laugh to myself, and recognize that it’s just Neil being Neil. Don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole. You don’t have to like it, but don’t try to demand of it something it’s never been about.

I’ve thought over the years, and I’ve never said it out loud, for the very reason of what I’m about to bring down on myself when everyone responds to this, but what the hey, damn the torpedoes. If Neil had chosen to over produce, and “perfect” every one of his albums, make them as slick as is technically and humanly possible, with some obvious exceptions, he would have long since been considered the number one performer of his time. But that was never going to happen, which I learned a long time ago. It’s a big reason why I love him- and I’m not telling anyone not to voice their opinion- but also a big reason why we shouldn’t even be having this conversation.

Greg M (A Friend Of Yours)

At 10/30/2009 03:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Greg, of course you are right and I take back what I said. I`ve been thinking about this and actually we should all just be so pleased that Neil is giving his wife, his muse, the love of his life, the gift of being able to enjoy singing along with him. It`s plain to see that it`s a joyful experience for them both. After all the wonderful music he`s already given us he surely has the right to do what the hell he likes and sing with whoever he wants to and we surely have no right to winge.

Apologies for my previous comment.

Peace and love


At 10/30/2009 04:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


neil can give pegi that gift all he wants. he just shouldn't do it in front of a paying audience. you did not need to apologize for speaking the truth.

At 10/30/2009 07:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jill, I agree that you don’t have to apologize for speaking what for you is the truth, and didn’t think you were being disrespectful. I have no problem with anyone not liking this or that about Neil’s decisions, that’s everyone’s prerogative. However, for me it’s a self evident truth that a lot of people going to a Neil Young show are not going to get everything they want, and sometimes what they get is going to elicit a WTF reaction. The point is that as an informed fan this should not come as a surprise to you, and you should consider that whatever you get, both “good” and “bad”, is just a continuation of a long held artistic method, that in many ways defines the artist in question. I think you’re on dangerous ice when you disregard Neil as a whole, and seek to ferret out this or that part in an attempt to degrade the sum of all the parts, which is the Neil we all know and love. O.K., fine, I get it, you don’t like one of the parts. This is going to lead you to dismiss the very thing that has allowed him to be who he is, what has allowed him to last so long? What would be your take if the “offensive” singing involved was coming from someone other than his wife? This is going to keep you from enjoying everything else, and pass up the chance to see a live show. You’re going to cut your nose off despite your face? Where is the sense of proportion?

Greg M (A Friend Of Yours)

At 10/31/2009 09:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg, yes of course there`s never going to be 100% agreement on anything that Neil does, as is self-evident from this site. People are people and we all have different likes and dislikes. The fact that Pegi`s singing doesn`t always appeal to me is nothing to do with the fact that she is his wife! I love to see photos of them happy together and understand how important and precious their love is - it`s an integral part of who Neil is, as any serious fan knows. And I would certainly never miss out on an opportunity to see a live Neil concert! I saw him at Hyde Park, London, in June and thought the Electric Band ensemble was great. As I`ve already said, or meant, sometimes I think Pegi sounds great, other times not so much. That is my personal opinion. I am certainly not dismissing or disregarding any of Neil`s work and never would! My comment was just a mild personal observation - people have made musch worse critisisms than I did and at least I put my name on mine and have apologised for complaining! Maybe I should add that I think Neil is continuing to give us wonderful music - I love FITR for example, but that`s a whole other thread!
I am certainly not intending to cut my nose off to spite my face, Greg!

Peace and love


At 10/31/2009 06:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, Jill? My bad. I started out my comment to you, but the bulk of the comment was directed at Pegi bashing Anon, and I realized after it was too late that I didn't really make that clear. I hear you loud and clear, and totally agree with what you have said in all your posts, and there is nothing wrong with what you have said. I think you have couched all of your comments in a completely reasonable way. I really hope you see this.

Sorry- Greg M (A Friend Of Yours)

Really I am

At 11/01/2009 04:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for that Greg, and I see where you`re coming from. Basically we all love Neil and his music - why else would we spend so much of our time on this site?!

Cheers, I`m a Friend of Yours too!

Peace and Love

Jill (Keep on Blogging)


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