Saturday, December 27, 2008

Neil Young -- Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House -- Review

My Christmas was made by two church members who gave me Neil Young CDs. Cheryl was a bit disappointed that I was more excited about the CDs than the new clothes she got me. Now hers were more practical, but hey, this is Neil.

Both CDs are acoustic -- which is always a great way to listen to Neil. But I'd like to focus on the recently released "Live at Canterbury House" disc, which was recorded in November 1968. Back then Neil was just 23 years old and making his first post Buffalo Springfield performance. Canterbury House was in nearby Ann Arbor (Neil is a Canadian who first came to Detroit to break into the music business).

The CD's title comes from Neil's song Sugar Mountain, which he wrote prior to the Buffalo Springfield days, but is brought into the open here. The music is really good, just Neil and his guitar. It's a very different Neil from the one I recently heard in concert. That night Neil just pretty much played and sang for about 2 and half hours, with very little conversation going on. But on that night, perhaps a bit nervous, in part because neither he nor the organizers thought that there would be much of crowd. But there was, and history began to work forward. Anyway, on that night forty years ago, Neil was pretty talkative. In fact, he has a kind of high voice. He talks about the songs he's writing, the jobs he's held, the length of his hair, some pills he once took, and a bit of Mason William's "Classical Gas. "

If you're a Neil Young fan, this is an album to be had! It's fresh, even raw. [It includes a DVD, though I understand it's just the soundtrack without video in DVD format -- so don't get excited about that unless you listen on a DVD format]. If you're a Neil fan, you won't be disappointed.


Jonathan Rowe said...

I love Neil Young but don't yet have everything he's done. Thanks for the recommendation; I'll get this.

At This Time said...

I know I am responding to a very old post. this is the only way I found to get in touch with you. It was wonderful seeing someone who likes Buffalo Springfield and Peter White. Buffalo Springfield was the first concert i ever went to opening for the Byrds. I have been in love with richie furay's voice, and life, since the first time i heard "Clancy..." I can not tell youhow many times I have seen Peter White and have met him many times. Good to see you have such great taste in music.

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

Thanks for the complement! This is good music all around!!