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A new addition to my top acoustic albums of all time


Lars68
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I have just been listening to the newly released live recording from Neil Young. It  was recorded in 1971 and is called  “Young Shakespeare” (named after the theatre where it was recorded). It's pure magic throughout and the sound quality is absolutely stellar. The setlist is similar to the also wonderful “Live at Massey Hall”, but this album is more intimate and hits me even harder. 

This will replace the already mentioned Massey-album and join TVZ “Live at the Old Quarter” as my two favorite all acoustic albums of all time. It doesn't get much better than this. A voice and a guitar, making magic in the moment.

Other honorable mentions would be any early Dylan album, Springsteen's Nebraska, and Cash's “American Recordings.” But hey, that's just me. What about yours?

Lars

 

Edited by Lars68
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I can no longer think of Neil Young without flashing to Jimmy Fallon's take on him. 

For whatever reason though since the onslaught of the pandemic I find myself listening to my LPs less for simple enjoyment and more for a purpose which is to learn.  So as of late it has been Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Mosquito Moan" and "Black Horse Blues".   I just seems I need to keep my hands ever busy.

Edited by zombywoof
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Okay okay, , as an old, , , very old Neil Young fan I went inside the cans and checked what was available. He's a bit of an entertainer when it bites him. But damn I know these tunes well. 
                                        Guess we hear the 1969 D-45 and the 1962 D-28. Can't really pick out what is what - might listen again. . 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Can you ?

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Thanks for the review. I cut some teeth on Bob and Neil. My 11 year old daughter took off for front and center at a Neil concert many moons ago. Indigo Girls first on the scene opening for him. We were half way back. Freaked out and losing sight of her I pushed my way through the crowd to find her front row and center hoisted atop a 250 pound leathered up biker, hands in the air rocking out to “Rust Never Sleeps”. N’er a more beautiful moment. Lullabied my babies to “Love is a Rose”. Ordering my copy...

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It’s funny, y’know. How different is what Neil is doing here to what any of us do? Guitar playing is solid, unflashy, perhaps a touch congested in places. Vocal is tremulous, unconventional, perhaps less than great in the orthodox sense. The song is a fairly straightforward folky piece in G with some well structured lyrics, but not complex or showy in any way.

Yet, somehow, as a whole it’s mesmerising, almost otherworldly and heartstopping. 
 

I’m a huge Neil fan and been for 27yrs or so. I love his work, even the lesser stuff is far better than most artists could dream of creating, but I’m still absolutely perplexed as to how the component parts combine to make such a magisterial whole. 
 

Magic, or the closest thing there is to it, I guess. Thankyou for posting, Lars! 

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I do very much dig the Massey album. I spot-listened to this a bit and like it as well. I'll give it a proper listen this week. I did listen to "Helpless", though. It's very good as was the version on the Massey album. The version on the Massey album version is inspiring, showing just how musical he can be using just a "simple" acoustic guitar bit.

It's funny - I'm very much an album lover by habit, but for Neil Young's music, I do dig his live offerings. Massey, and then later on with Rust Never Sleeps, Weld and then the Unplugged one a while after that. There is a DVD he did in Nashville about 10-15 years back. Quite an ensemble of performers. The highlight for me is a version of "Old Laughing Lady" he does alone in the center of the stage to an empty hall. he plays it in double drop D.

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2 minutes ago, BoSoxBiker said:

I do very much dig the Massey album. I spot-listened to this a bit and like it as well. I'll give it a proper listen this week. I did listen to "Helpless", though. It's very good as was the version on the Massey album. The version on the Massey album version is inspiring, showing just how musical he can be using just a "simple" acoustic guitar bit.

It's funny - I'm very much an album lover by habit, but for Neil Young's music, I do dig his live offerings. Massey, and then later on with Rust Never Sleeps, Weld and then the Unplugged one a while after that. There is a DVD he did in Nashville about 10-15 years back. Quite an ensemble of performers. The highlight for me is a version of "Old Laughing Lady" he does alone in the center of the stage to an empty hall. he plays it in double drop D.

One of my favourite performances that laughing lady song in that DVD 

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Admittedly I am one who thinks Neil peaked with "Mr. Soul."

In terms of my list of must have "contemporary" acoustic LPs (meaning not reissues of Lightning Hopkins Gold Star and Modern label recordings)  the first Hot Tuna record still sits on top.  While there were more than a few out there recording acoustic blues what Jorma had that nobody else did was Jack Casady on bass. 

Another  would be Warren Zevon's "Learning to Flinch" which is a live solo effort with Zevon on acoustic 12 string and piano.  

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47 minutes ago, zombywoof said:

In terms of my list of must have "contemporary" acoustic LPs (meaning not reissues of Lightning Hopkins Gold Star and Modern label recordings)  the first Hot Tuna record still sits on top. 

I always really liked that too, still have the original LP that I bought in 1970, although I ripped it to my media server years ago. Unlike some of you, I get no pleasure from messing around with old vinyl records. 😁

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53 minutes ago, zombywoof said:

Admittedly I am one who thinks Neil peaked with "Mr. Soul."

In terms of my list of must have "contemporary" acoustic LPs (meaning not reissues of Lightning Hopkins Gold Star and Modern label recordings)  the first Hot Tuna record still sits on top.  While there were more than a few out there recording acoustic blues what Jorma had that nobody else did was Jack Casady on bass. 

Another  would be Warren Zevon's "Learning to Flinch" which is a live solo effort with Zevon on acoustic 12 string and piano.  

Neil is hit an miss with me. He has so much out there. The First Buffalo Springfield album was really good and the second one okay. Deja Vu with those CSN guys was great. Harvest, Tonight's The Night, After The Gold Rush and Every Body Knows are classic. Harvest Moon was really good. I saw him on the This Note's For You Tour. It was okay. I saw him in Detroit and Joe Walsh came out and played on the encore of Tonight's The Night. I just wish he would shut his mouth about politics, he has a right to say what he wants, but I could care less who he wants me to vote for.

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1 hour ago, Boyd said:

I always really liked that too, still have the original LP that I bought in 1970, although I ripped it to my media server years ago. Unlike some of you, I get no pleasure from messing around with old vinyl records. 😁

When vinyl started making a comeback they finally released a two LP version of that first Hot Tuna record.  I would imagine there is an extended  single CD version of it.   Biggest problem with new vinyl is it ain't cheap.  

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3 hours ago, zombywoof said:

Admittedly I am one who thinks Neil peaked with "Mr. Soul."

In a Buffalo Springfield rut, are we?

For What It's worth, I'm sort of Hung Upside Down over that one, with a Sad Memory of a certain Rock 'N Roll Woman. But a little Bluebird told me not to worry, I should be Expecting to Fly any day now.

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A couple years ago while hunting through the LP’s at Half Price Books I found an acoustic gem (for my taste). Glenn Campbell all acoustic with a bass player backing up Tennessee Ernie Ford singing some classic songs.  

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Edited by Dave F
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2 hours ago, j45nick said:

In a Buffalo Springfield rut, are we?

For What It's worth, I'm sort of Hung Upside Down over that one, with a Sad Memory of a certain Rock 'N Roll Woman. But a little Bluebird told me not to worry, I should be Expecting to Fly any day now.

More of a Steve Stills rut.

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9 hours ago, zombywoof said:

When vinyl started making a comeback they finally released a two LP version of that first Hot Tuna record.  I would imagine there is an extended  single CD version of it.

Yep, I got the CD with the "bonus tracks" many years ago too!

Edited by Boyd
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SSbi8y7.jpgDon't know if you are familiar with this one, Lars.

Not solo acoustic guitar but ditto piano and with the same feel and simple finesse we hear on fx Shakespeare. 

Some will find it interesting that it ends with a couple of lines that never got anywhere before showing up 6 years later on Like an Inca from Trans. With new words.                                                         And Neil must have like them cause they appear one more time on nothing less than Le Noise from 2010. Again with new lyrics on a song called Hitchhiker, , , ,  which another 7 years later via the retro-album of the same name turns out originally to have been recorded back in 1976 where the Stringman-tune with the hidden trace of is from.  

 

And sure - it is a very fine, melodic, original and therefore precious passage indeed. 

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Not live, but intimate studio recordings that are the top of the heap for me - 

Baden Powell, Baden Plays Viniciushttps://music.apple.com/ca/album/baden-plays-vinícius/977399394 - this is either the last or next to last recording he did, an instrumental last run through music he composed for Vinicius de Moraes lyrics c.1966.  Baden's voice, which had been getting frailer, is absent here.  It's just him and a very close-miked Anibal Crespo classical guitar, and he'll rip your heart right out with the emotional twists he gets out of it.  Listen to this through headphones.  "Valsa Sem Nome" still nails me to my seat when I listen to it.

Hiss Golden Messenger, Bad Debt - https://music.apple.com/us/album/bad-debt-remastered/1441041932 - Recorded on a cassette deck late at night while his infant child slept in the next room during a time when M.C. Taylor was a folklorist doing field recordings, taking a break from being a professional musician, and pondering what is music, really?  Many of these songs he has since gone back and re-recorded with a full band, but this collection is simply too good to be surpassed.  There are interesting little sonic artifacts throughout, and yes, it's not so different from what any of us do, as Jinder noted.

So, what the hell.  I'll plug my contribution to the genre, because even if no one else likes it, I have an abiding fondness for Russ Fitzgerald, Midnight Sunroomhttps://music.apple.com/us/album/midnight-sunroom/id1518429993 - also available on all the other streaming platforms.  

I've really turned away from "studio" albums, vastly preferring "un-studio" stuff and live recordings.   The field recording aesthetic better captures music in the real world, at least for me.  And I am so bored of the radio-friendly aesthetic, maybe because so much of it becomes dishonest.  Or maybe I'm just wearing my hair shirt today.

 In his book White Bicycles, Joe Boyd has a passage about his preference for "performance" music rather than layered studio stuff, and I am in complete agreement with that.  I vastly prefer the bare essential takes on songs, the classical "kitchen table test" versions.

Edited by rustystrings
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