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Music Review: Neil Young – A Treasure

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Legendary musician and songwriter Neil Young brings us his vision of the American Heartland in his new album A Treasure. This live album contains 12 songs, including five previously unreleased tracks, all recorded while on tour in 1984 and 1985.

Originally considered a diversion from Neil Young’s well known rock and roll sound and politically driven edge, the country influenced sound of A Treasure actually pays homage to “quick picking” roots of rock and roll. Neil Young is joined by the band International Harvesters including his long time collaborator Ben Keith, and country music legends Rufus Thibodeaux, Spooner Oldham, Tim Drummond, Joe Allen, Anthony Crawford, Karl Himmel and Hargus “Pig” Robbins.

This album is the sound of over a hundred years of country music inspiration, all led by a voice that captures the emotion, hopes and dreams of the American Spirit. When Neil Young was asked about his tendency to shape shift musically during the recording of these live performances, he was quoted as saying “You can call me erratic, but I have always been this way, I have been constantly erratic, always changing and growing.” The album was named A Treasure after a quote by the late Ben Keith, who co-produced the material, rediscovering it after finding it 25 years later in “the vaults.” He was amazed at his find and said “This is a Treasure.” Neil Young has now brought this treasure of musical greatness to us.

One of the previously unreleased tracks “Grey Rider,” an eerie song about ghost riders and unsettled spirits, is planned to be released to radio as the first single off the album. All the songs work together create an image of America that is often missed as we drive through this country, never really taking the time to look around and see what makes this country so special. It sings to us, like Neil Young sings to us, with strength and enduring love for the people of this land. On “Southern Pacific,” the music beats to the tempo of the diesel on the track and creates a romantic vision of life and labor on the rail. A Treasure has been released on Vinyl, CD and Digital Download versions, and as a special Blu-ray/CD Package that includes rare video footage and interviews.

This is not so much a country album, but Neil Young’s interpretation of country music. It has the storytelling methodology of traditional country music, but also the rocking edge that Neil Young is famous for. With the International Harvesters, A Treasure is a musical interpretation of America.

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About Joseph Timmons

Writer, Artist and Musician living in California. I like Music, all Music and I have a fondness for the arts. I will write about anything, but I am most prolific when it comes to Music and the Entertainment Arts. I consider myself an admirer of Fashion and Social Events. When out and about, look around, I may be there - I travel around and get in to every party !