Preview Reviews of Neil Young And The International Harvesters' Upcoming Album "A Treasure"
Neil Young & The International Harvesters
Here are a few preview reviews of Neil Young And The International Harvesters' upcoming new album "A Treasure".
From Premier Guitar Joe Coffey:
A Treasure is a 12-song time capsule of that tour and includes five unreleased tracks that Young fans have been wondering about for 25 years. It’s being offered in the standard mp3 and CD formats, as well as a CD/Blu-ray package that aims to give fans an offering in the audio connoisseur-preferred Blu-ray format, even though no known video exists to give viewers moving visuals of some of the performances. Blu-ray viewers see the album cover on the screen during much of the album. Since something is better than nothing, existing video of Neil performing some of the songs is synced up with the audio on the Blu-ray, even though a few different musicians rotated in and out of the International Harvesters and this video may not accurately show who can be heard playing, if that makes sense.
This is a welcome concession for Young fans that relish a Blu-ray listening experience. But it’s a bit ironic since the mix, which isn’t bad at all, is still limited by the quality of the source recordings. In a video on his website, Young admits, “we didn’t use good sound in the first place,” while emphasizing that the recordings are “… the best versions of these songs.”
With that in mind, listeners can approach the album with a new-old-stock kind of expectation, which is appropriate considering the contents. Standout Ben Keith, the late steel player who can be heard on Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces,” as well as Young’s original version of “Old Man,” adds rich textures of lap and pedal steel throughout the album. His country-western (as they used to call it) authenticity is matched by Rufus Thibodeaux’s fiddle. Right out of the gate, the two set the mood for the album on the opening track, “Amber Jean”— a Texas two-step number recorded when Young and the band appeared on the Nashville Now TV show with Ralph Emery. Other standouts include the honky tonk-infused “Let Your Fingers Do the Walking,” a bluegrass-meets-rock version of “Get Back to the Country,” and a locomotive-strong performance of “Southern Pacific.”
From LAist By Bobzilla:
The eighties were a big decade for midlife crises (and lawsuits) among sixties rockers, but Young took the desire to mutate with the times and head into unpredictable territory much further than any of his peers.
In response to the pressure, Young split town, fired his Hollywood booking agent, and headed to Nashville. There he found himself a hell of a support crew, built around pedal steel player Ben Keith and fiddler Rufus Thibodeaux, and hooked up with Waylon Jennings’ agent, who put the band on the state fair circuit. By all accounts, the change of venue suited Young just fine. One of the tracks on A Treasure was recorded at Gilley’s Rodeo Arena in Pasadena, TX, a show at which Young was reported to have surveyed the rickety wooden stage, suspended ten feet in the air over a massive pile of horse shit, and marvelled, “Sure beats playin’ to a bunch of fuckin’ hippies at the Fillmore!” Young stuck with it and toured the group for a solid year, longer than any of his other genre diversions, though a followup to the 1984 album Old Ways never materialized.
At the center of this release are live versions of five previously unreleased songs that surfaced on his 1984 and 1985 tours. “Grey Riders” is the instant classic of the bunch, a frantic gallop with a killer guitar breakdown that would have fit perfectly on Time Fades Away. Placed at the end of the album, it’s shocking the first time you hear Young’s guitar explode and become the loudest thing in the room, obliterating his band, like he’s been holding that back for an hour and it’s time to let it out.
The lead track off of Neil Young & The International Harvesters' upcoming release A Treasure "Amber Jean" is now being previewed on Rolling Stone Music.
More on A Treasure: New Neil Young Album Coming and Release Details on A Treasure: New Neil Young Album Coming June 14.
International Harvesters Tour, Costa Mesa, CA - 10/24/84
Photo by Robert Matheu