Harvest Moon



Over the years Neil Young has survived multiple wars, depressions and recessions, the crapola and shinola of a smarmy music industry, and all the traps and pitfalls of a drug fueled occupation and generation. This year, he has made quit a bit of fodder for the tabloids with the divorce of his wife of 36 years, and a new feud with long time friend and collaborator David Crosby. He has also been very prolific. He has a new album out this month, Storytone, which is his second this year. He released A Letter Home on a Voice-O-Graph at Jack White’s Third Man Records in Nashville this past spring.

I’ve given both a listen. The first A Letter Home is a set of covers recorded in a phone booth (not bigger on the inside than on the outside), which is really hard to listen to. Young attempts to transport himself back in time, and has some awkward conversations with his dead mother about the weather which we get to listen in on. The second, Storytone, also a solo effort, is new material a step closer to par with the Neil we have come to know and love. If you pick up the deluxe edition of Storytone, the ten originals songs are redone on a second disc with the accompaniment of some orchestral maneuvers. Personally, I prefer Neil in his stripped down form. Guitar, harmonica, piano and voice. I think that’s when he is at his best. For me, the presentation of these new songs is better with less distractions. Of the two new albums, Storytone is by far the NY record to buy in 2014.

But, now that we are in full autumn, and winter is just around the corner, I thought I would rewind a bit further and pull out a classic NY record from 1992 –  Harvest Moon. This, the follow up to Harvest, which David featured here last year at about this time, is one of my favorite albums. It’s a beautifully textured acoustic reflection. Homage to nature, the land, love and life. The cover photography is cool, with a 50 year old Young out in the fields at twilight, a scarecrow.

The title cut of this album makes me think of my parents. This weekend they are celebrating their 66th wedding anniversary. 66 years and still as much in love as the day they said “I do”. I’d say that’s a pretty damn good run! Harvest Moon is the best of the best from Neil, even if he did kick his dog Old King once when he was bad.

“Because I’m still in love with you, I want to see you dance again. Because I’m still in love with you, on this Harvest Moon”.

Harvest Moon – 1992
1. Unknown Legend – 4:32
2. From Hank to Hendrix – 5:12
3. You and Me – 3:45
4. Harvest Moon – 5:03
5. War of Man – 5:41
6. One of These Days – 4:55
7. Such a Woman – 4:36
8. Old King – 2:57
9. Dreamin’ Man – 4:36
10. Natural Beauty – 10:22

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