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Saturday, April 09, 2011

A Treasure: Are You Ready To Get Back To The International Harvesters?

International Harvesters Tour, Costa Mesa, CA - 10/24/84
Photo by Robert Matheu

There's been a lot excitement over the recent news of the new Neil Young album A Treasure coming June 14. (Go here for release details and track info and to watch the hilarious preview video with Neil in all of his ragged glory.

The International Harvesters era -- which ran from roughly ~1984 - 1985 -- produced some wonderful country twang moments in Neil Young's career. The band consisted of 2 band lineups:

International Harvesters Band #1
Ben Keith
Anthony Crawford
Rufus Thibodeaux
Spooner Oldham
Tim Drummond
Karl T. Himmel
Larry Cragg
Joel Bernstein

International Harvesters Band #2
Ben Keith
Anthony Crawford
Rufus Thibodeaux
Hargus Pig Robbins
Joe Allen
Karl T. Himmel
Matraca Berg
Tracy Nelson
Larry Cragg
Joel Bernstein

A Treasure
Neil Young & The International Harvesters

From a Funhouse album review of Old Ways by Steve Peck:
The International Harvesters were a swinging band that added a lot to the quality of Old Ways, and this is Neil's most realized country effort to date. One enjoyable aspect of the album is his use of Waylon Jennings for vocal harmonies. Waylon and Neil's voices blend well together, and Jennings is one of the best harmonizers around. Willie Nelson shows up to duet on "Are There Any More Real Cowboys?," adding further to the record's country credentials. This period of Neil's career is even more significant if you look past the Old Ways album, and take into account the subsequent International Harvesters tour, with its performances of several exceptional, unreleased songs, "Interstate" and "Grey Riders."

YouTube - Neil Young w/ International Harvesters & Nicolette Larson - "Homegrown" at Farm Aid II

Some more International Harvesters video:

YouTube - NEIL YOUNG SOUTHERN PACIFIC 8/17/85 - 1985-08-17, Canadian National Exhibition Grandstand, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

YouTube - Neil Young & Waylon Jennings 1984 - Neil Young & Waylon Jennings Sept 20 1984 'Nashville Now' TV show Are You Ready For the Country?

YouTube - Neil Young - Nashville Now tv show pt 1 - Neil Young on the tv show Nashville Now on Sept 20 1984. Part 1 includes intro, Field of Opportunity and the first part of the interview.

YouTube - Neil Young - Nashville Now tv show pt 3 - Neil Young on the tv show Nashville Now on Sept 20 1984. Part 3 - Amber Jean, band intro's and the closing moments of the show."


At 4/09/2011 01:35:00 PM, Blogger Jim said...

This is the first volume of the Neil Young Archives that I am TRULY anticipating!!!!!

I'd say the Harvesters were easily Neil's tightest and most musically talented band.

CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!

At 4/09/2011 01:53:00 PM, Blogger Harm said...

Those YouTube videos of the Nashville Now show have disapeared due to a copyright claim by Viacom.

Pretty interesting show, Neil explaining how he and CSN are at different points in life and why he's no longer performing with them, Neil and Waylon singing Are You Ready for the Country, cool stuff.

The complete Austin City Limits TV special
is still available on YouTube though, with great versions of Powderfinger and Down by the River, as well as some songs that will also appear on A Treasure. Must see, if you ask me.

At 4/11/2011 07:58:00 AM, Blogger asg said...

during his Harvesters phase Neil wears a cowboy hat and plays a Gretsch..."Bad Blake" (CRAZY HEART) wears a hat (like 99.9% of all male country singers) but HE plays a *I* don't think so...just sayin'...

At 4/14/2011 04:20:00 PM, Blogger Melanie Young said...

I've been a bit out of the loop lately, but just wanted to express how excited I am about this particular release. Thanks too to Harm for posting the link to the ACL show . . . I've always wanted to see that.


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