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Friday, November 20, 2015

REVIEW: Neil Young - Bluenote Café | Everybody’s Dummy

Neil Young latest Performance Series release from the Neil Young Archives is Bluenote Café - which was released last week. The album collects various performances captured during Neil's 1988 tour.

From Everybody’s Dummy by Ward:
But as he’s proven before, it’s all one song, and hindsight has been very kind to some of his less successful experiments.

In a rare case of revisionism, the band now called Bluenote Café is celebrated with its own installment in his Performance Archive Series, and a double disc to boot. Where the album was a challenge, Bluenote Café presents two and a half hours of music in two sets, giving plenty of room for the band to stretch, and the songs to breathe.

The music comes from three stages of the Bluenotes era—a couple of shows when Crazy Horse was augmented with a horn section, a club tour with the established band on the album’s release, and then a shed tour later in the summer. In addition to most of This Note’s For You, several songs make their first album appearance, and a few other rarities help round out the picture. “Welcome To The Big Room” is something of a theme song, in a band that had several. “Don't Take Your Love Away From Me” translates well from the Shocking Pinks, “Hello Lonely Woman” is given a jolt of energy compared the pre-fame demo, and “Soul Of A Woman” is otherwise similar to the one on A Treasure but for the horns. A true highlight of the first set is “Bad News Comes To Town”, a terrific soul burner that uses the extra players as part of the dressing.
Full review at Everybody’s Dummy by Ward.

Also, see STREAM FULL ALBUM: Neil Young's Bluenote Café .

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At 11/21/2015 10:12:00 AM, Blogger Richard B. said...

For those of us,who gave it a chance the album was quite good,when originally released. I saw four shows at The World,here in NYC,soon after it's release. They were great shows,as you'll all be hearing soon. Then the band evolved into even more of a Neil Young like project. They went from strength to strength! This was always a worth while detour for Neil and I can't wait to check out the new cd's! Love Neil's archive projects!!! (Still think he should have included "Interstate" on "A Treasure" but that is a post fpr another day!
Rich B (Stonecutter)

At 11/21/2015 06:12:00 PM, Blogger Thos said...

I've been enjoying the sets quite a lot, and three things are clear from the enjoyable new record:

1. Neil Young is a great blues harmonica player - really impressed at his playing in these live gigs, so different from his usual folky style. I still wish he had recorded more inventive harp playing during his career - the highlight is his playing on 'Furby Sings the Blues' on Joni Mitchell's Hejira LP, which is so ethereal.

2. Neil Young must be frustrating to be in a band with - I adore his guitar solos and could listen to them all day, but it is clear that he was backed by some great brass and woodwind players on this tour, yet there are only one or two opportunities where we get to hear their soloing talents. This is a shame, as it means that texturally the record is very similar throughout, rather than providing the contrast that different timbres would provide, and also because it would affect the performers' sense of fulfilment as musicians. I wonder if this is true of crazy Horse, et al?

3. Whilst fun and providing a new soloing platform for Neil Young as an instrumental soloist, it is clear that the songwriting during this era was not as well-honed as that which came before or afterwards; the songs seem to exist as sketches on which to build arrangements. The unreleased tracks on the disc (excepting Ordinary People) are largely unremarkable. The version of 'Don't Take Your Love Away From Me' is brilliant, better than the version on Lucky Thirteen.

Anyway, just my thoughts, would love to hear everyone elses.

At 11/22/2015 03:02:00 PM, Blogger Thos said...

Been listening to disc one again, and there is actually more soloing from the brass and sax players than I remember, so I take it back!

At 11/24/2015 10:29:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Mike/Expecting To Fly has left a new comment on your post "New Performance Series Release: Neil Young Bluenot...":

Thrasher and all you! Keep on rockin'!

I for one love. No, ABSOLUTELY LOVE this new release from the Neil Young Archives PS series. This absolutely exemplifies why I am a Neil Young fan. Neil is the only guitar player on this record. Listen to this and appreciate what this band brought to that era and what Neil brings to this music as the single guitar player on this. Whoa, what a record...


Thanks e2f!!! Happy Thanksgiving!


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