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Neil Young Crazy Horse – Way Down In The Rust Bucket (Live)

June 22, 2021

When I first heard this album I posted on my Instagram account (@catchgroove): “Does the world need another 2.5 hour live recording of Neil Young and Crazy Horse? Hell yes! As usual the boys are brilliantly sloppy and there are some deep cut gems.” A few months have gone by and this album still sounds good to me.

This live album is from a warm up show for the Ragged Glory tour at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA, on November 13, 1990. Neil’s timing for Ragged Glory could not have been more perfect – Neil and the Horse were prophets: Seattle grunge was about to explode. They were like John The Baptist: anticipating a messianic rock movement that would be greater than themselves. Eventually Neil would be rightfully named The Godfather of Grunge.

The band plays most of Ragged Glory and selections from their back catalog – the obvious and not so obvious, for example, three from 1975’s Zuma (obvious) and two from 1981’s Re-ac-tor (not so obvious). I never tire of hearing this stuff: it is a turgid plodding mess, but somehow beautiful. The Horse is often maligned as not being accomplished musicians, but musicianship is besides the point – the magic of great rock music is that it just emotes – Way Down In The Rust Bucket gushes emotion.

On the one hand there is nothing new here, but on the other hand that is not the point. Neil Young and Crazy Horse are just a great hang and I will take every opportunity to hang with these guys. This is a particularly great opportunity.


From → Music Reviews

  1. I thought the same as you at first. Multiple listens now. Love this stage of his music.

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