Neil Young – Fireside Sessions IV (2020)

For Big Bear and Buddy

The fourth Fireside Session, shown at NYA, was recorded on May 7th, the birthday of my late father. The first song as usual performed by the outdoor fireplace. Early evening in the Coloradian mountains. The sky is big and yellow, not yet red. We get a nice rendition of “One of these days” from “Harvest moon”. Then, again, Neil fixes his harmonica holder on the old horse shoe. It needs maintenance!

This session we get a mix of old ones and some new ones from the new millennia. The second song is “Good to see you”, the intro-track from “Silver & Gold” released in 2000. It is a nice song, but maybe not my favourite. But somehow it is good to see it again.

Neil’s and Daryl’s living room seems to be super cosy. The fireplace is huge and all the furniture seems to belong in an old log cabin. Draperies over the sofas. The white shaggy dog resting on the wooden floor.

The third track is a huge surprise. We are treated to a sensitive version of “Through my sails”, the CSNY song on “Zuma”. That one I haven’t heard live many times… maybe never! Yes, true, this song was actually premiered live here at the session. Wonderful. Happiness is a never before song played live.

More maintenance of the harmonica holder. LOL. And then a rather fun newer song, “Daddy went walkin’”, again from “Silver & Gold”. It is like a short story about old folk, walking and cars. After that we get another old classic. “After the gold rush” is played on the old piano. We see Neil from the back with the whole stand up piano glowing like gold in the sun rays. A beautifully shot segment of the film. 

Neil drinks some water out of an old jar. Water, the sponsor of the film. As always. Now, Neil in the shadows fiddling with his harmonica again. A never ending enterprise as it seems. Back at the piano with the harmonica in its place. He does an emotional version of “Mother Earth”. Oh, how beautiful it is.

For the next song Neil is again at the outside fire place. It is darker, the sun has set and he is playing the third song from “Silver & Gold” in the session, “Distant camera”. It is yet another very strong song that may be a little forgotten.

For the final stretch of the film Neil plays a piano-version of “Are you ready for the country?” over shots of the couple’s two golden retrievers, Big Bear and Buddy, taking a bath in a pond during a bright and sunny day. Two of man’s best friends.

Thanks Neil and Daryl.

Setlist:

  1. One of these days
  2. Good to see you
  3. Through my sails
  4. Daddy went walkin’
  5. After the gold rush (piano)
  6. Mother Earth (Natural anthem) (piano)
  7. Distant camera
  8. Are you ready for the country? (piano)

Best songs: “Through my sails”, “Mother Earth (Natural anthem)” and “Are you ready for the country?”

Recorded on May 7, 2020

Link to the current page on NYA for the short film.

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