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Sunday, February 28, 2021

REVIEW: ‘Way Down in the Rust Bucket’ - Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse | Old Grey Cat

‘Way Down in the Rust Bucket’  - Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse
 

As noted repeatedly over the past many months (see here, here and here), the 2019 major discovery of the "Rust Bucket tapes" continues to blow rusties' minds as its massively majestic magnitude manifests around the EARTH.


Neil Young - Mansion on the Hill - Way Down in the Rust Bucket (Official Music Video)

From a review of  ‘Way Down in the Rust Bucket’  - Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse |  Old Grey Cat:

Although my CDs are still dancin’ across the proverbial waters, sans galleons and guns, I’ve been enjoying the archival Way Down in the Rust Bucket live set from Neil Young and Crazy Horse thanks to the high-resolution files that come with the purchase via the Greedy Hand store

Long-time fans who planted trees and/or were branches and leaves on the Human Highway and/or Rust List email groups should be familiar with the Nov. 13, 1990, show from the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, Cal., as fans were in attendance and audience recordings were made. Bootleg aficionados will know it, too, as it soon appeared in specialty shops under such titles as Don’t Spook the Horse, Feedback Is Back and Homegrown, not to mention the mammoth four-disc set Warpath, which coupled it with an audience recording that captured the first night of the 1991 “Smell the Horse” tour. 

I trawled my long-archived original Old Grey Cat site (1997-2006) and came away with reviews of two of those bootlegs. Here’s my original take on Feedback on Back, which – allegedly sourced from an audience tape – excised “Cowgirl in the Sand” in order to fit the show onto two discs; I’ve edited it ever-so-slightly…

Feedback on Back (Bootleg)

 

In the wake of Ragged Glory, in early 1991 Neil saddled up Crazy Horse for a tour that was eventually documented on the live double-CD Weld.

If you’re familiar with that album (and you should be), then you know Neil and the Horse delivered more than just a rudimentary greatest hits set. They created a cacophony of feedback, laying down the musical equivalent of the bombs then blowing up Iraq. It was an intense affair with plenty of standards, true, but they were attacked in such a way that they came out new. One listen to the apocalyptic version of “Like a Hurricane” present on Weld is proof enough, but if need be crank up the version of “F+!#kin’ Up,” too. Maybe it’s me, but I hear it as ominous and threatening, sans the goofy spirit of the Ragged Glory rendition. It works on several levels – as does “Crime in the City,” another relatively new song that just plain kicks ass. The music accents the climate of the times even as it goes beyond them.

Feedback Is Back doesn’t do that. 

Taken from a warm-up date in November ’90 at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, it reflects and extends the mood of Ragged Glory: Loud, goofy and fun, with plenty of jammin’ just for the sake of jammin’ – and, no doubt, jammin’ in the name of the Lord, too. What else explains the inclusion on “T-Bone”? Yeah, that’s right. “T-Bone,” the guitar workout from re*ac*tor that features the “incisive” lyrics of “ain’t go no t-bone/got mashed potatoes.” Like the set in total, it’s not earth-shattering – but it is fun to hear Neil recast the lyrics time and again. 

The inclusion of more than a few infrequently played songs – “Surfer Joe & Moe the Sleaze,” “Bite the Bullet,” “Dangerbird,” “Don’t Cry No Tears” (complete with “a Las Vegas ending,” to quote Neil), the aforementioned “T-Bone” and “Homegrown” – in a set that features eight tracks from Ragged Glory amongst a handful of standards (“Cinnamon Girl,” “Sedan Delivery,” “Roll Another Number,” “Like a Hurricane” and “Cortez the Killer”) gives a different spin to what the Smell the Horse tour may have been like if not for Saddam Hussein, George Bush and CNN: A lot looser. The sound itself, while not great, is solid throughout. Of note, however, this is not the entire show. (For that, one should seek out Doberman’s Warpath.) That said, Feedback Is Back ain’t bad.

Please take my advice: Play it LOUD!

The main difference between it [WDITRB], Feedback Is Back, the other bootlegs and treed CDs: the pristine sound. 

Listening to the high-resolution (192/24) files via my USB DAC and headphones is akin to being in the sonic sweet spot of the 800-seat Catalyst. [ed: highlighted]

Thick chords, winding guitars and sweeping melodies roll like sonic waves from the stage and leave you drenched with bliss. It’s not Neil’s greatest live album by any means, mind you, but is a welcome addition all the same. (One note: Like Feedback Is Back, “Cowgirl in the Sand” is AWOL due to an apparent recording malfunction, but was captured by the film crew so is on the DVD.) It’s available to stream on the Neil Young Archives – and membership is only $19.99/year, so if you don’t belong, join. 

Also, as I inferred up top, CDs and LPs bought from the slow-as-molasses Greedy Hand store come with a download code for the high-res files.

Full review of  ‘Way Down in the Rust Bucket’  - Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse |  Old Grey Cat. 

Thanks OGC!  This was just so good we just had to quote the bulk of it.  Hope that's ok.  Be sure to check out all of Old Grey Cat's excellent reviews.  (Tell'm TW sent you!)

Well --  as we like to say:   May The Horse Be With You & Yours!

Deluxe Box Set Edition (DVD, 4 LPs, 2 CDs)
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link . Thank you!!!)

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse
 
Jack Nitzsche , Neil Young's producer/arranger on the masterpiece "Broken Arrow", has stated that: 
"Crazy Horse was the American equivalent of The Rolling Stones. IOHO, Crazy Horse is to Neil Young what The Band was to Bob Dylan. As perfect a complement as tequila and salt."
 

Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse:
"3rd Best Garage Band in the World"
~~Bill Graham
 
In tribute to Crazy Horse, the "3rd Best Garage Band in the World", here's a look back at some highlights:
#DontSpookTheHorse
 

Induct Neil Young w/  Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

#CrazyHorse4HOF
 
 #MayTheHorseBeWithYou

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4 Comments:

At 3/01/2021 09:59:00 PM, Blogger Alan said...

Good review. Thanks.

 
At 3/02/2021 02:29:00 PM, Blogger HG said...

Slightly off topic but there is a great interview just out with Poncho in Rolling Stone. He praises the Rust Bucket release, talks very positively about the old days and his love for Neil, Billy, and Ralph and says he stopped playing because of arthritis. I thought it was a wonderful interview

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/frank-poncho-sampedro-interview-neil-young-crazy-horse-1134522/

 
At 3/02/2021 05:06:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks HG! Definitely on topic.
Super interview w/ Poncho and clears up lots of unanswered questions.

Money quote: "Let me go on record as saying that I think this 'Way Down in the Rust Bucket"
is the best Crazy Horse record we ever recorded. I love it!
"

 
At 3/02/2021 07:43:00 PM, Blogger Old Dan said...

Has anyone received their physical copy of the music yet? I got an email with tracking information a week ago and the tracking is still not active. The Greedy Hand is so frustrating. I wonder if I will receive this before my copy of Archives 2 set to ship this week?

 

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