Saturday, October 11, 2008



Just five days shy of his 23rd birthday, Neil Young's solo career launched
in earnest with an engagement at The Canterbury House in Ann Arbor,
Michigan. Having left the Buffalo Springfield only six months earlier,
Neil brought just his guitar along to the facility operated by the Episcopal
Diocese of Michigan as a ministry to University of Michigan students,
faculty and staff.

The truth was that the engagement was something of a "stealth" booking, an
experiment to determine if audiences would accept Neil's music in its most
elemental form. Having performed previously in the context of a band, he
was unsure if he could deliver his music as convincingly alone. The
Canterbury House experience erased all doubts and set the stage for the succession of Neil Young solo albums that continues to this day.

The night of November 9, 1968 (and the night following), he performed his
music and told stories between the songs to a rapt audience. The
performances were recorded those evenings on a TEAC 2 track tape recorder,
the tapes kept in storage over the intervening years.

More than 40 years will have passed when Reprise Records releases Sugar
Mountain Live At Canterbury House 1968 as part of the continuing Neil
Young Archive Performance Series. The 23-track album will be issued on November
25th and includes recordings made on both nights and offers a glimpse into
the development of a legendary artist. The album includes songs that were
written during his Buffalo Springfield tenure as well as newly written
material that would appear on future solo albums. One of the spoken word
standouts is an amusing tale of Neil's hapless "day job" experience
working in a Toronto bookstore that still brings laughs today as it did that night
so long ago.

It should be noted that Sugar Mountain Live is not slated for inclusion in
the long anticipated Neil Young Archives Vol. 1 (1963 - 1972). The 10-disc
Blu-ray and DVD packages will be released early in 2009 with a specific
date forthcoming.

The legendary title track, written on Neil's 19th birthday, is certainly a
highlight as are such songs as "Mr. Soul," "Expecting To Fly," and "The
Loner." Just about every one of the thirteen songs included in the album
came to be appreciated as touchstones of Neil Young's brilliant
songwriting prowess over the decades to follow.

Sugar Mountain Live At Canterbury House 1968 was recorded in stereo on two
tracks. It's intimacy, warmth and brilliance still shine through forty
years later.

> Track listing
> 1. (Emcee intro)
> 2. On The Way Home
> 3. Songwriting rap
> 4. Mr. Soul
> 5. Recording rap
> 6. Expecting To Fly
> 7. The Last Trip To Tulsa
> 8. Bookstore rap
> 9. The Loner
> 10. "I used to" rap
> 11. Birds
> 12. Winterlong (excerpt) and Out of My Mind - intro
> 13. Out Of My Mind
> 14. If I Could Have Her Tonight
> 15. Classical Gas rap
> 16. Sugar Mountain - intro
> 17. Sugar Mountain
> 18. I've Been Waiting For You
> 19. Songs rap
> 20. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing
> 21. Tuning Rap & The Old Laughing Lady - intro
> 22. The Old Laughing Lady
> 23. Broken Arrow

We can only hope that this one actually gets released and not delayed / postponed like the multi-disk set "Archives".


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