Founder of Buffalo Springfield, a force in the Rock juggernaut Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and an extraordinary solo artist, Neil Young is an artist with a reputation that precedes itself. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his time with the aforementioned bands, as well as a solo performer, Young;s bread and butter has always been his signature guitar work, vividly personal lyrics, and passionate tenor singing voice.
Adding to his legacy, the Canadian born singer-songwriter has excelled with a prolific career whereas even at 73 years of age he is blasting out new material year after year. In fact, just two years after his album The Visitor with the band Promise of the Real, he has announced plans for a new album, entitled Pink Moon, set for release later in 2019 with Crazy Horse. Exciting for longtime fans, in the meantime, Reprise Records are releasing another piece of the Neil Young Archive Series, entitled Tuscaloosa, which is out on Friday, June 7th.
For those unaware, Neil Young has thumbing through his archived material since the early ’80s, and with so much to go through, there could be enough releases to last a lifetime. Tuscalossa was recorded live, and here it is presented just as it was heard at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa back in 1973. Recorded by Neil Young with The Stray Gators, and presented as an eleven song collection, each was hand-selected by Young himself.
A part of the “Performance Series,” which consists of volume four of this series, as alluded to, Tuscaloosa is not remastered, but sounds as it did on the day of the recording; giving listeners a chance to travel back in time. These factors in mind, the guitar, piano, and vocals “After The Gold Rush” sound so strong and clear, it is as if Neil Young is there with you in your living room. In fact, the cheering of the audience sounds crystal clear too, which is amazing considering that the recording is nearly five decades old. Furthermore, the recording shows Neil Young feels every word he sings, causing goosebumps. Especially felt on “Heart Of Gold,” which gets deep inside you asserting it is a timeless classic. There are also other tracks such as “Look Out Joe” which will cause you to lose track of time, allowing your mind to float away and be at ease.
In truth, every song is not only telling a story through, but also carries a lot of emotions that grab you by the heart. That is, Tuscaloosa is a wonderful album that lets you sway along and to let go of all the troubles that might lay heavy on your mind. The honest sound of Neil Young is caught on Tuscaloosa while the simplicity and lightness of the sound of 1973 is refreshing compared to the easily overproduced music these days. A beautiful offering, thank you Neil Young for sharing your archives with the world. That is why Cryptic Rock gives this album 5 out of 5 stars.