First of all I must say I adore the old style rustic porch of Daryl’s ranch in Colordao. The latest “Fireside sessions” take us to that very porch.
Daryl behind the camera, fiddling with the settings, Neil playing his heart out. This session focus on the ongoing unrest of the nation, people on the streets bleeding.
The set list would be quite predictable as the session is announced to address what is going on. It’s less humour from Neil in this session, it has more of a somber feeling as it should due to the subject matter.
Neil starts with “Alabama” from “Harvest”. You got the weight on your shoulders. Next up is an old one, a great one, “Campaigner”, you know from “Decade”. It is played on a superbly beautiful black lacquered acoustic guitar. I don’t know if I have seen it before. Even Richard Nixon had got soul.
Soldiers are cutting us down… Should have been done long ago. Next up is an angry rendition of the old CSNY battle cry “Ohio”. Unfortunalety this song is still relevant. It is so saddening. As always Neil takes even the most general statement and makes it emotional and deeply personal… What if you knew her, and found her dead on the ground.
After “Ohio” we get a short intermission with a word from the sponsor – water. Neil is promoting donations to the Navajo Water Project. I say let’s follow Neil’s lead! I have donated, as we all should. Well worth it. For the next song Neil sits inside a teepee in the garden and gives us a very emotional “The Times They Are A-Changin'”. I am no Bob Dylan expert, so, but I think maybe Neil changed some words. Let the experts confirm it before you run with the story though.
“The sun is going down on us, baby.”
After the gut wrenching Dylan cover, Neil whips out another predictable song, but one I had forgot myself. It’s “Lookin’ For A Leader” from 2006 album “Living with war”. Here we get a version with a completely updated lyrics. Very nice. It is also very good, maybe the best performance in all “Fireside Sessions” yet! I need to listen to that “Living with war” more. Obviously.
Finally, “Southern man”, the epic from “After the gold rush”. Regardless of how many times this damn song has been played it feel fresh in this version.
The last song is played up on the outdoors fire place we have visited in previous “Fireside Sessions”. Neil does a great version of “Little wing” from the recently released “Homegrown”. It is slow, almost tentative and it has two or three false endings.
Near the end we hear Daryl say “Don’t go”. I concur.
Thanks Neil and Daryl.
- The Times They Are A-Changin’
- Lookin’ for a leader (2020)
- Southern man
- Little wing
Best songs: “Campaigner”, “The Times They Are A-Changin'”, “Lookin’ For A Leader” and “Little wing”
Recorded on July 1st, 2020 at Daryl’s ranch in Telluride, Colorado
Link to the current page on NYA for the short film.
Lookin’ for a leader (2020) – my transcript
Leaders walk among us and I hope they hear our call
Maybe it’s a woman or a black man after all
Lookin’ for a leader to bring our country home
Reunite the red, white and blue before it turns to stone
Lookin’ for somebody with the strength to take it on
Keep us safe together and make this country strong
Walking among our people there’s someone to lead us on
Need a rainbow of colors in a broken world gone wrong
Yeah, we had Barack Obama and we really need him now
The man who stood behind him has to take his place somehow
America has a leader building walls around our house,
don’t know black lives matter and we got to vote him out
We got our election, but corruption has a chance
We got to have a big win to re-gain confidence
American is beautiful, but she has an ugly side
We’re looking for a leader in this country far and wide
Just like his big new fence this President is going down
America’s moving forward you can feel it in every town
Scared of his own shadow, building walls around our house
He’s hiding in his bunker, something else to lie about
We don’t need a leader building walls around our house
who don’t know black lives matter, and it’s time to vote him out
We’re lookin’ for a leader with the great spirit on his side
Lookin’ for a leader in this country far and wide
Lookin’ for a leader with the great spirit on his side