Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Album Review: Neil Young's Greendale

Neil Young's GreendaleMonday, February 28, 2005
Artist: Neil Young
Title: Greendale (DVD & CD)
Rating: Good

Neil Young is one of the few artists that never compromised his art for commerce. Among others in that group I would include Patti Smith. Bruce Springsteen, and Iggy Pop. His latest offering, Greendale, does not rank among the many great albums that Young has put out or participated in over his now four decade career; however, for any fan that has “bought into” Young’s art, it’s a pretty cool piece.

Available on CD and now DVD, Greendale, is a musical drama set in a small California town. With his back-up band Crazy Horse offering their usual haphazard approach to keeping the music simple, Young tells a story of a drugs, murder, the devil, environmental concern and a small town’s dealing with all this excitement.

What makes this story of interest is that Young chose to use his neighbors, employees and friends in the movie/DVD to tell the story. Much like Omaha’s own Jeff Davis and the Playing With Fire concert series, Young evidently reached a point in his life where he wanted to use some of his wealth to create an artistic medium for the fun and the benefit of his community. In, Greendale, Young and friends made a stripped down movie that depicted the story on his album of the same name. So no-name actors perform in front of the amateur film makers: much like his music, Young strips down the art to it’s bare essentials and spins 90 minutes of pure hippy culture entertainment that leaves the viewer with a sense of having participated in something fun.

To compound all this fun Young toured, Greendale, and took many of his neighbor-actors on the road with him: which had to be a gas! At the end of the DVD, included in the “Making of Greendale’ section Young includes concert footage of the tour’s final song, “Be the Rain.” The entire cast is on stage performing the song. Interestingly one of Young’s two sons, both of whom suffer from Cerebral Palsy, is wheeled on stage. For those that have followed Young’s life it’s a touching moment that goes by unheralded. (By-the-way, Young’s album, Trans, (1983?) with it’s synthesized & processed vocals and the heavy use of electronic instruments, is about Young’s effort to communicate with his special needs sons).

Anyway, back to Greendale, it’s not going to win a Grammy next year but it’s encompassing, it’s passionate, and it’s anti-slick n’ polish. I really enjoyed it. Really now, “this note's for you.”

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