Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Neil Young – Hitchhiker

From Neil Young’s personal archives comes the release of Hitchhiker, a previously unreleased 10-song album produced by David Briggs and recorded in Malibu, CA at Indigo Studio during one night in 1976.  Recently released on Reprise Records, the album is loose and raw in spirit – with banter and laughter - and built upon the simplest yet most powerful of arrangements consisting of only Young’s distinct voice and acoustic guitar playing along with some piano and harmonica.
After this session, some songs were re-recorded and released later on other albums such as Comes a Time (“Human Highway”) and Rust Never Sleeps (“Powderfinger”, “Pocahontas” and Ride My Llama”).  Listening to these stripped down original versions now gives a rare glimpse into his writing process.  Additionally, standout tracks “Hawaii” and “Give Me Strength” were never re-recorded or released.  The former is reminiscent of Hank Williams with a yodeling-like lilt to the one-word chorus and the latter is an introspective breakup song delivered with a forceful chugging guitar and an aching harmonica solo.
Given the sparse arrangements – no overdubs or studio effects - and devoid of any “Cortez The Killer”-esque guitar solos, the album lasts only a quick 33-minutes begging for an instant replay. 
For more info: https://wbr.lnk.to/Hitchhiker      
Watch the video for “Powderfinger” from Hitchhiker here: 


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