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Thursday, April 20, 2023

Comment of the Moment: Original Bootleg Series Releases: ‘High Flyin’ by Neil Young w/ The Ducks - 1977

‘High Flyin’ w/The Ducks
   Neil Young's Original Bootleg Series Releases #02 
(Click photo to enlarge)

Our Comment of the Moment is from Neil Young's Original Bootleg Series Releases:  ‘High Flyin’ by the steadfastly earnest Dan:

The Ducks : It’s important to note that until now I had no previous exposure to this particular lineup in the Neil Young universe. 

I have never been a big collector of bootlegs except for The Beatles, although I did own I’m Happy That Y’all Came Down. So I have been curious about this release since it was announced, and had no preconceptions on what it would be like.

My first listen was sadly marred by distractions, so I wasn’t able to really focus much, but my first impression was a tad perplexed. Obviously I could hear and feel Neil’s guitar, but he clearly wasn’t the main focus. The other three voices were unfamiliar and frankly not that captivating. It felt like a well oiled bar band who were relaxed and having a good time. So my initial reaction was almost dismissive.

The next day I had more time so I started over, and played both discs without interruption. As everyone here is aware there have been so many NY albums that have been released that require repeated listening to allow soaking in, and first impressions can be misleading. That’s the case here with The Ducks

These three guys are definitely skilled musicians who clearly enjoy a loose environment to play in, and Neil was obviously relaxed and confident. The vocals don’t jump out of the speakers and grab your attention, and these guys don’t have the vocal qualities that place them in the same level that Neil’s does. They aren’t bad vocalists, they’re just unremarkable. That being the case, they certainly don’t mar the proceedings, offering up some nicely crafted songs that are musical and catchy.

The obvious highlight is Neil’s performance throughout the entire set, and his guitar work is absolutely stellar. As a whole I found myself really impressed with the chemistry between these four gentlemen, and I enjoyed finally getting to hear what the Ducks were all about. That being said, I don’t need it on vinyl, because it isn’t a title I’ll put on frequently. It certainly deserves to be part of the archive, and an essential part of Neil’s career.

This is a fun performance from a group of talented people who are clearly having a good time, and deserve to get the recognition they obviously deserve. A great addition to the NY cannon, but probably not essential to the casual fan.

Peace 🙏

Thanks as always Dan for the thoughts and comment. Likewise, we also found  ‘High Flyin’ a pleasnat surprise.

After all these decades finally emerging from the Archives vaults. Amazing how 6 or 7 gigs in different venues got stitched together into a seamless concert anchored by some of Neil's tunes intermixed with straight ahead country rock. 

Can only imagine how much of a treat these intimate concerts were for those in the know.

Neil Young w/ The Ducks - 1977



More on  Neil Young's Official Bootleg Series.


Jeffrey Reid "Jeff" Blackburn: 1946 - 2023  
w/ Neil Young
(see A Tribute to Jeffrey Reid "Jeff" Blackburn: 1946 - 2023)

Labels: , , , , ,


At 4/20/2023 01:20:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

@Thrashers: Thanks for the honor of Comment of the Moment…. I should have mentioned that I bought the CD version for each of these two releases, because I was unfamiliar with both. After listening to both, I will definitely be picking up the vinyl for Rainbow as it is a superb performance, and the audio quality is actually quite good. The Ducks will live in my collection on CD, but I did enjoy it for what it is.

Peace 🙏

At 4/21/2023 04:38:00 PM, Blogger wardo said...

Here's my take on the Ducks, if anyone is innarested...

At 4/21/2023 05:05:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Dan - no, our honor and pleasure.

@wardo - thanks! Neil review #67!!! awesome. long may you run!

At 4/21/2023 05:13:00 PM, Blogger Acoustic FeedBack said...

I have to say that the Ducks were great! I mean a really great Bar Band. The correct songs the correct feel. Neil joined the Ducks to be in a Bar Band so he joined a great one that needed a lead guitar player. Ducks Rock!


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