Tag Archives: Neil Young

DVD Review: A MusiCares’ Tribute to Neil Young


SRP: $21.98 (Blu-ray) / $16.98 (DVD)
running time: 70 min.

May 31, 2011 – By Glenn McDonald

The new MusiCares’ Tribute to Neil Young DVD features a couple dozen top-notch performers honoring Young in an evening of cover songs and tributes.  It’s a 70 -minute, bare-bones, no-frills affair – just how Neil likes ‘em.

The MusiCares Foundation, established in 1989 by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, provides emergency financial assistance for musicians in need. Last year, the organization gave more than 2.5 million in direct financial aid to 2,000 recipients.

The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute dinner takes place annually in Los Angeles during Grammy week, and honors artists for both their contributions to music and their philanthropic efforts. Past recipients include Bono, Natalie Cole, Luciano Pavarotti, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor and Stevie Wonder. In 2010, that artist was Neil Young.

A Low-Key Vibe

After a pair of opening promotional videos detailing MusiCares and Young’s own Bridge School Benefit events, the evening begins with John Fogerty and Keith Urban leading the house band on “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

It soon becomes clear that this will be no rowdy rock concert. The venue is a giant ballroom with an enormous stage, and the crowd is seated at round tables with white linens – expensive food and drink presumably at hand. It’s a benefit concert, after all. In fact, as the musical luminaries take the stage one after another, it starts to seem like the coolest, most mellow wedding reception you’ve never been to.

The performances throughout keep to this low-key vibe, and the tone is really set by that opening number. Fogerty sounds great on vocals, but a song like “Rockin’ in the Free World” is necessarily diminished in this polite setting. “Rockin’ in the Grammy Week Industry Party Venue,” maybe.

It’s with the second performance – Lady Antebellum’s slow and sweet take on “Only Love Can Break Your Heart – that the appeal of this night of performances becomes clear.

Neil Young’s songs have always had an essential portability. I don’t know the statistics, or if there even are statistics, but I’d guess that Young is among the most covered songwriters on the planet. His best songs have a kind of durable structural integrity, in the material sciences sense of the word.


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Neil Young Wins His First Grammy for his Music


The legendary Neil Young claimed his first-ever Grammy for his music at Sunday night’s 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. The 65-year-old had previously picked up an award for the packaging of his Archives set in 2010, but this year Young’s “Angry World” earned the Grammy for Best Rock Song.

“This is my first Grammy for music and it’s appreciated greatly,” he said in his acceptance speech. “I’m not nervous, but I’m close.”

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Brian Setzer Earns Grammy Nod


The Recording Academy revealed its list of Grammy nominees last night during the GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live, which aired on CBS.

Gretsch signature artist Brian Setzer earned a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Performance with Brian Setzer Orchestra track “Sleepwalk.”

In 1998, Setzer won a Grammy award in the same category with an earlier version of “Sleepwalk,” which appeared on breakthrough album The Dirty Boogie.

Here’s BSO performing the tune at the Montreal Jazz Festival in June 2010.

We’d also like to congratulate rockers Neil Young and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell on their Grammy nods. Young picked up three nominations for material from Le Noise, including Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song and Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance. Campbell’s band will battle Young for Best Rock Album with Mojo.

The winners will be revealed on Feb. 13, 2011, during the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards.

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Neil Young’s Storage Unit Damaged by Fire


Neil Young’s storage spot in San Carlos, Cali., went up in a blaze Tuesday morning. The 12,000 square-foot warehouse held his vintage cars, memorabilia, guitars and other music equipment.

Investigators estimate there is at least $1 million in damage, although firefighters saved the vast majority of Young’s possessions.

Watch the news story here.

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Neil Young Performs at Farm Aid 25


Neil Young performed several songs at “Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America” at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisc., over the weekend.

Young, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985 to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land. The musicians were joined on the Farm Aid Board of Directors by Dave Matthews in 2001.

The non-profit organization has raised more than $37 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture. A large portion of their fund-raising efforts comes from their annual Farm Aid concert, where artists donate their performances. This year’s lineup included Kenny Chesney, Norah Jones, Jamey Johnson, Amos Lee, Band of Horses, Robert Francis and others.

For more information about Farm Aid, visit farmaid.org.

Watch  Young’s performance of “Sign of Love” below.

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