Neil Young
13 Days of Neil
RustWorks, Vol. 6
This Old Guitar

I recently acquired Chris Davisí fantastic Jerry Garcia compilation, ď8 Days of JeromeĒ and thought that somebody should do the same for Neil Young. Well, taking my own advice I embarked on this little project in May 2011 and, hoping others will enjoy it, decided to share. The title, ď13 Days of NeilĒ is an obvious rip-off from Chris and Neil (Lucky 13), but feel free to call it whatever you want. Neilís birthday is on 11/12 and this set contains 14 volumes. Yeah, it makes no sense.

Vol. 6: This Old Guitar ďBut itís not about me, anyway-itís about the whole band. Itís about everybody being there at once. When I play Iím listening for everything, trying to drive it all with my guitar. My guitar is the whole fucking band." (Neil Young, Guitar World, October 2009) The title notwithstanding, this volume is about rhythm. What I love about Neilís performances are the musical spaces within the songs. Thereís lots of room for the players to move without trampling one another.

We open with Fuckiní Up. Of course. The closing coda/instrumental of this performance is all over the place, countermelodies, controlled melodic chaos. And doesnít skip a beat. The 2007 Wallingford performance of Cinnamon Girl with its harmonic stops and starts is one of the best ever. A rare, uptempo version of Cortez the Killer follows with Crazy Horse settling into a fantastic, loping groove that chugs along beautifully. You could dance across the water to this one. Neilís lead is perfect, right up to the descending three notes introducing the reggae coda. IMHO, the best Cortez ever. A lovely Dangerbird (yes, I said lovely) follows. The 1990 Santa Cruz Cowgirl is widely regarded as the definitive rendition. Powderfinger, from the same 1978 L.A. Forum concert as CTK above, is another great Crazy Horse rhythm juggernaut. Phish pushes Neil through the wall during the 1998 Farm Aid Down by the River performance, yet itís still Neiler driving Phish as if the band is his guitar, and his alone. And I always felt that song needed more cowbell.

Fuckiní Up (Crazy Horse, Manchester, 2003-06-13)
Cortez the Killer (Crazy Horse, Los Angeles, 1978-10-24)
Cinnamon Girl (Electric Band, Wallingford, 2007-12-07
Dangerbird (Crazy Horse, Santa Cruz, 1996-05-09)
Cowgirl in the Sand (Crazy Horse, Santa Cruz, 1990-11-13)
Powderfinger (Crazy Horse, Los Angeles, 1978-10-24)
Down by the River (Phish, Tinley Park, 1998-10-03)

The selection process for this compilation was quite simple. I attempted to pace the songs in a loose chronological order, creating counterpoint with slow and uptempo tunes, and above all include versions of songs that I can enjoy over and over. In that sense, this is more of a retrospective than a greatest hits or best of compilation. Basically, itís just a bunch of songs that just seem to go well together. Of course, the fact that Neil is so prolific made this project fairly mind-boggling simply in terms of available material. Clearly, I avoided any officially released material, or any that was likely to be released in the foreseeable future.

This collection is also a showcase for the great people and bands with whom Neil has played over the years: Danny, Bert, Nicolette, all those Nashville players, Crazy Horse, the Stray Gators and Santa Monica Flyers, the Springfield, CSN, Pegi. Listen closely and youíll hear all of them at one point or another. This goes out to Long Grain in particular. If not for Ben Keith, I fear there would be no Neil Young as weíve come to know, and love, him.

A word about compilations: I compiled these performances for my personal listening pleasure, and share them for the same reason. There are many Neil Young compilations available out there: ďArchives be Damned 2000Ē (and 2006), ďAcoustic Masterpieces,Ē ďA Perfect Echo.Ē Of course, the one must-have compilation is the officially released ďArchives.Ē Nothing beats the original tracks themselves. This compilation is not meant to replace any of the aforementioned. It, simply, is what it is.

I urge you to seek out the original performances (theyíre all available somewhere). Thank you so much to the original tapers and uploaders and all who share this great music (what we do here at DIME is a rare and precious thing). And, of course, thanks, Neil.

November 2011

Lineage: All recordings obtained from various torrent sites (DIME, Traderís Den, HungerCity, TapeCity, Zomb): FLAC > WAV > CD-R > FLAC (8) > DIME
Notes on Sound Quality: All Audience Recordings except as noted, the SQ is Excellent to Excellent+ throughout except*
*SQ is Fair to good
Convert to lossy for personal use only
Please support this artist-purchase official recordings, attend live performances regularly, and visit the websites:

RustWorks, Vol. 1: Sugar Mountain
RustWorks, Vol. 2: Heart of Gold
RustWorks, Vol. 3: Tired Eyes
RustWorks, Vol. 4: On the Beach
RustWorks, Vol. 5: Interstate
RustWorks, Vol. 6: This Old Guitar
RustWorks, Vol. 7: Let it Shine
RustWorks, Vol. 8: Out of the Blue
RustWorks, Vol. 9: Into the Black
RustWorks, Vol. 10: Transformer Man
RustWorks, Vol. 11-Part I: Donít Spook the Horse
RustWorks, Vol. 11-Part II: Donít Spook the Horse
RustWorks, Vol. 12: Stringman
RustWorks, Vol. 13: Borrowed Tune
RustWorks, Vol. 14: Looking Forward