Neil Young
13 Days of Neil
RustWorks, Vol. 9
Into the Black

I recently acquired Chris Davis’ fantastic Jerry Garcia compilation, “8 Days of Jerome” 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, “13 Days of Neil” is an obvious rip-off from Chris and Neil (Lucky 13), but feel free to call it whatever you want. Neil’s birthday is on 11/12 and this set contains 14 volumes. Yeah, it makes no sense.

Vol. 9: Into the Black is not so much a period in Neil’s career as it is a topic about which he continually returns: mortality. From Danny to Bruce, Elvis to Kurt, death has touched Neil many times during his life. Logically, Hey Hey My My opens this volume followed by Driveby. The tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd from Bicenntennial Park confirms Neil’s respect for that great band. Windward Passage with the Ducks is an instrumental that Neil, sadly, all too seldom plays now. Though I’ve only seen it once, the video for Touch the Night is a classic parody of death fetishism. Ben Keith imbues this extended performance of Powderfinger with some wonderful, rollicking riffs. An acoustic Cocaine Eyes precedes an awesome rendition of Words. And in classic NY song pacing style we come to the concluding acoustic My My Hey Hey. Full circle.

Hey Hey My My (Crazy Horse, Live Oak, 1997-08-23)
Driveby (Crazy Horse, Sedona, 1994-10-22)
Alabama > Sweet Home Alabama (The Gone with the Wind Orchestra, Miami, 1977-11-12)
Windward Passage (The Ducks, Santa Cruz, 1977-08-22)
Touch the Night (Crazy Horse, Atlanta, 1986-10-22)
Powderfinger (Electric Band, Colmar, 2008-08-15)
No More (The Lost Dingoes, Sydney, 1989-04-18)
Cocaine Eyes (Rotterdam, 1989-12-13)
Words (Friends and Relatives, Chula Vista, 2000-09-25)
My My Hey Hey (Washington, DC, 2010-05-24)

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, it’s 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 you’ll 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 we’ve 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: “Archives be Damned 2000” (and 2006), “Acoustic Masterpieces,” “A Perfect Echo.” Of course, the one must-have compilation is the officially released “Archives.” 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 (they’re 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, Trader’s 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: Don’t Spook the Horse
RustWorks, Vol. 11-Part II: Don’t Spook the Horse
RustWorks, Vol. 12: Stringman
RustWorks, Vol. 13: Borrowed Tune
RustWorks, Vol. 14: Looking Forward