Legendary rocker Neil Young continues to add to his 50-plus-year recording career with his just-released studio album Peace Trail.
A shrewd collection of new songs – written and recorded quickly this past summer – the album is one of immediacy with kinetic playing from a spare crew of Jim Keltner on drums and Paul Bushnell on bass.
With bits of processed vocals added to the folk-rock core and an amplified harmonica that sounds like Little Walter after a Marvel-esque dose of radiation – Young employs strategies meant to throw the whole thing off kilter and make you listen closer.
The songs cover the things on the singer’s mind right now – both within—old dreams broken and those newly forming—and in the world around him: Standing Rock xenophobia – immigration and technology.
For an artist at 71 it’s beautifully charged – invigorated and present work.
While the call is urgent – Young doesn’t beat you over the head with the message so much as inject you with it.
I spoke with Young over the phone while he was at his home in Colorado.