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Friday, January 24, 2014

A Letter Home: New Neil Young Album Title

Neil Young
Jack White's Third Man Record Booth

Last year, we reported on Neil Young's visit to Third Man Records, which is Jack White's Nashville recording studio.

Since then, there have been a lot of rumors speculating on what occurred back in July 2013 and what we might eventually hear once released.

The title of Neil Young's new album is called A Letter Home to be released in March, per a quote from Neil in Rolling Stone.

Over on NY Times (Neil Young's official webpage), this item has been posted
January 22, 2014
Third Man Records unearths Neil Young's "A Letter Home."
An unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro mechanical technology captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever...... Homer Grosvenor
Ahh, yes, the elusive Homer Grosvenor. Hmmm.

Rustie Ralf Böllhoff posts: "Homer Grosvenor" could be an allusion to Neil Young's home in Winnipeg. He lived there at 1123 Grosvenor Avenue. So maybe the songs of "A Letter Home" are referring to Neil Young's home in Canada in the 1960s. Neil's own songs on that album might be rediscovered and not yet recorded songs written far back in Winnipeg like his legandary first song "No" or pre-Squires songs or something like that."

While that fact is not in dispute, it seems Jack White's contributions are unclear despite what is being reported.

Over on Neil Young's official Facebook page , the following statement was posted:
False Rumours: Neil Young and Jack White are not doing a record of duets as has been erroneously posted on various outlets. We are certain those rumours have no basis in truth.
From Rolling Stone By Jon Blistein:
It seems likely that Young recorded the album on a 1947 Voice-o-Graph machine located at Third Man's Nashville headquarters.

Originally made in 1947, the Voice-o-Graph is the only public vinyl record recording booth of its kind left in the world. After refurbishing it, Third Man opened the booth on Record Store Day 2013 and now anyone can come in and record up to two minutes of audio that's cut onto a six-inch phonograph disc. Young stopped by Third Man last year where he recorded a cover of Bert Jansch's "The Needle of Death" on the Voice-o-Graph last year for a special tribute to the acoustic guitar master.
After Neil Young's Farm Aid 2013 setlist of covers, the thinking was that many of these songs had been recorded in Nashville earlier, including:

  • Early Morning Rain (Gordon Lightfoot song)
  • Since I Met You Baby (Ivory Joe Hunter song)
  • Reason to Believe (Tim Hardin song)
  • Changes (Phil Ochs song)
Phil Ochs' song "Changes" was featured prominently in the recent concerts at Carnegie Hall and Honor the Treaties. Also, Bert Jansch's "Needle Of Death" would also be a possibility for the new album, as well.



At 1/24/2014 07:32:00 AM, Blogger SONY said...

Get back to the country
Back where it all began...

Used to listen to old 78's on a victrola. Those sounds would bring ya right back to a place you never been, 1920. These cuts will likely do the same thing.

The old useless over-the-hill irrelevant Neil Young strikes again!

Let's just hang him on the wall and call him Art.

At 1/24/2014 08:05:00 AM, Anonymous Mother Nature on the Run said...

I can only imagine the sheer intimacy and beauty of hearing Neil record "Needle of Death" in a tardis-like time-traveling machine.

The song list is priceless and the two artists paying homage to words and melodies that continue to inspire poets and musicians everywhere give this project a relevancy and special purpose.

It was meant to be this collaboration between Jack, Neil, and a magnificent time-traveling machine. So I really hope the rumors are true. A letter home from Neil and Jack would be fine way to break this winter chill.

At 1/24/2014 09:10:00 AM, Blogger Mother Nature on the Run said...

@Sony, Last year I came across a mint Victrola for $425. It was a beauty!

At 1/24/2014 10:46:00 AM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

"Sometimes you do everything right and the puck bounces the wrong way. Sometimes you play poorly and you get lucky. But on the whole, if you play the game right, you'll get the results you are looking for."
--Bobby Orr

Riding round the world
In a dirty gondola
Sure wish that I hadn't sold
My old Victrola
--Bob Dylan

"The deepest blues asks its listeners to confront their joys, their sorrows, their lusts, and, above all, their mortality. If the music has a single Great Subject, it's impermanence."
--Robert Palmer from Deep Blues

At 1/24/2014 11:20:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@SONY - old school is the new school for the hipsters. :)

@MNOTR - "tardis-like time-traveling machine." nice one. well played. may re-use in the future. thnx

@Mr H - good to see you, my friend. It's been awhile. Always enjoy the literary and lyrical allusions.

3 Bob quotes? Must be a coincidence of the synchronicities?! Or something...

At 1/24/2014 11:31:00 AM, Anonymous SD said...

This is going to be very interesting. I'm sure some people will grumble and hate the concept, but I think it will stand as something quite unique and, hopefully, deeply personal. Just Neil reconnecting with heartfelt songs from the past? Hopefully sounding like a ghost from the past on that recording machine?

I'm down with that.

At 1/24/2014 01:01:00 PM, Anonymous The Zuma Band said...

"He heard the sound of the future
on a scratchy old 78.."

More time travel, like the crazy Horse Time Machine from the last tour and also as the cover of "Trans" indicates.

Maybe he should get the band and record at Sun Studios in Memphis. It is still in operation, and he can try out his One Mike concept. Get the spook with some Elvis and Howlin Wolf.

At 1/24/2014 01:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exciting.... I keep hearing some of the songs recorded will be very "shocking" would be cool if he covers something more contemporary too.
My one worry; Third Man Records are known for these SUPER LIMITED, unique vinyl releases (Records with another record in the middle of it, records with some strange Day-Glo liquid in the middle, etc, etc.). Neil has a lot of fans. I really hope this wont be some product that you can't get your hands on unless you have mucho bucks or live in Nashville and don't mind waiting in line at Third Man Records for 24 hours on Record Store Day. I really hope none of this is done. In my opinion it's really alienating to music/vinyl fans and does nothing special for THE MUSIC itself. If this is an "old School" type project then keep it that way, and spare us the super limited, special, colored vinyl runs of 100 only and other ridiculous marketing schemes. Other than that, I can't wait to hear it and glad that Neil is still at it.

At 1/24/2014 03:13:00 PM, Anonymous SD said...

TMR is good with bigger releases - White Stripes Elephant was a RSD release (VERY well done too) in fairly large numbers and then they did a non-RSD general release afterwards.

I'm sure Neil has final say - when has he not had control over his product?

At 1/24/2014 05:14:00 PM, Anonymous LRR said...

OK.. This is where those of you with the insider information can anonymously post things you know!!! Have at it!

At 1/25/2014 06:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why cloak and dagger around this? Usually we know a couple months or so in advance when something new is coming out. Why is it on jack whire's label and not reprise Did
reprise reject the album since we assume Neil is still under contract
to them.Maybe neil and elliott str
intentionally creating a buzz about the record to drive sales
because maybe the album is not that good There was a time when Neil didnt rely on gimmicks to sell records and in those days he made great records. We havent heard the new album and anyprejudgement is futile but all the
mystery and rumors about it does
not suggest a great or even good record is forthcoming

At 1/25/2014 10:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD said:
"TMR is good with bigger releases - White Stripes Elephant was a RSD release (VERY well done too) in fairly large numbers and then they did a non-RSD general release afterwards."

Really like the TMR releases, the more special the better and yes, they can handle bigger releases. Maybe TMR is handling the vinyl release an Reprise the CD / DVD release. They filmed it all I guess. There was a Bert Jansch tribute movie online for a short time. Until it was blocked by TMR. Really liked that movie of Neil in the booth. I noticed they had some microphones hanging from the ceiling of the booth... Can't wait until March. Make it special!

At 1/25/2014 07:19:00 PM, Anonymous RustyLync said...

I saw Neil perform Needle of Death at Carnegie Hall. Brought me to tears. The song sounds exactly like Ambulance Blues

At 1/27/2014 11:58:00 AM, Blogger TS said...

In response to "1/24/2014 01:46:00 PM," I respectfully and whole-heartedly disagree with you. TMR produces vinyl like no other company, and makes it worth owning. I actively seek out their releases, not only for the amazing artists Jack White signs, but for the quality of the release, the care in the package, and the thrill of opening it up when it finally gets delivered. If you're worried it'll only be an exclusive, that's valid, but I'm sure Neil will make it available on his site as well. But Jack White's vinyl release are the very opposite of alienating, they bring the joy back in purchasing music. The physical copy of an audible source has not been this exciting since file sharing was introduced. I am even more excited for this release because it is on TMR. And that being said, unless you're a vault member and getting exclusive live albums of Jack White playing in a bowling alley pre-White Stripes (which is stunning) the prices for these non Third Man artist releases have been very reasonable price wise. I wonder what the track list will be? Two of my favourite artists involved in any project piques my interest to the nth degree.

At 4/19/2014 04:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

01. “Changes” (Phil Ochs)
02. “Girl From The North Country” (Bob Dylan)
03. “Needle of Death” (Bert Jansch)
04. “Early Morning Rain” (Gordon Lightfoot)
05. “Reason To Believe” (Tim Hardin)
06. “On The Road Again” (Willie Nelson)
07. “If You Could Only Read My Mind” (Gordon Lightfoot)
08. “Since I Met You Baby” (Ivory Joe Hunter)
09. “My Hometown” (Bruce Springsteen)
10. “I Wonder If I Care As Much” (Everly Brothers)

according to

Guess it's not available on CD?


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