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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Promise Of The Real: 2nd Generation Crazy Horse"

"Love and Only Love"
Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY - July 21, 2015
Photo by Hounds That Howell
(Click photo to enlarge)

An intriguing premise from No Depression: the band Promise Of The Real as a second generation Crazy Horse.

From Album Review: Neil Young + Promise of the Real - The Monsanto Years | No Depression by Doug Heselgrave:
A lot has been written about how Neil Young tapped Lukas Nelson and his band Promise Of The Real to back him up on 'The Monsanto Years.'

With Willie Nelson's other son, Micah of 'Insects and Robots' joining up for the record and tour, it's been easy shorthand for journalists to dub Promise Of The Real as a second generation Crazy Horse replacement, but that wouldn't be very accurate. There are certain similarities - both groups create a big, brash, rugged sound and can fearlessly jump deep into churning, soupy jams, but Promise Of The Real are more understated and egoless for such a young band. The sound they create is swampy and multi-layered rather than metallically psychedelic.

They create a vibe and depth that is similar to the sound of Young's 'Sleeps With Angels' from 1994, but their is a warmth and wash to their music that is more alluring and approachable than the electric ugliness that made 'Living With War' such a powerful and unsettling listen. Both Nelsons are great guitarists who play in different styles. Lukas' tone is more clean and precise, while Micah creates textures of sound that perfectly complement Young's ferocious leads. With Corey McCormick on bass and Anthony LoGerfo on drums, Promise Of The Real boast one of the finest rhythm sections in rock music with Tato Melgar's percussion subtly weaving the whole thing together. From one listen, it's obvious that POTR get it and know how to play with Neil Young. Many other far more experienced bands have floundered trying to find Young's groove while these boys effortlessly dive in and thrive. The real story of their collaboration can be experienced on Youtube, where videos from their tour show their obvious chemistry. I hope they continue to work together.
Full Album Review @ Neil Young + Promise of the Real - The Monsanto Years | No Depression by Doug Heselgrave.

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At 8/19/2015 12:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't dislike this band, and they do sound very good on The Monsanto Years, but as an electric live backing group for Neil I don't think they are anywhere near as well suited to him as Crazy Horse, or indeed many of his bands (acoustically is a different matter).

The main problem is the soundstage is far too crowded for Neil's guitar playing to really shine in all it's glory. Every instrument feels like it is unsuccessfully vying for attention. In short, the band don't seem particularly well attuned to supporting Neil's strengths.

Neil did the whole 3-guitar thing so much better with Pearl Jam in 1995. It's not the band's fault, by any means: Neil just doesn't need another lead guitarist! Neil is such a presence as a guitarist that he takes up a huge amount of room, musically speaking.

The visual aspect of the recent performances also seems very self-conscious to me; when Neil and Crazy Horse rock out in concert, it feels natural and effortless, a force of nature, whereas with POTR it seems more forced and stylised.

So I look forward to Neil making some more records with these new guys, but for his live shows, I hope Crazy Horse make their return very soon.


At 8/20/2015 08:23:00 AM, Blogger anon said...

Anyone who saw Neil and the Real Deal live
knows these concerts were among the best he's EVER done...including Springfield, CSNY, CH, Ducks.
He has re-discovered his JOY with these fellas and there is NOTHING this group CANNOT play.

At 8/20/2015 09:17:00 AM, Blogger farank said...

What makes this cooperation sound so good is the balance in the band with Neil Young obviously relaxed - If you want give it a negative touch it sounds like a Neil Young Tribute band. But I am sure a lot of people would like it better than the old "Horse".

At 8/20/2015 10:02:00 AM, Blogger anon said...

NOT "tribute"
NEIL 2.0!

At 8/22/2015 10:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am with Doug and Anon

This is a great new sound and gives NY energy

I too hope they keep working together


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