Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Album Review: Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Way Down In The Rust Bucket

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Way Down in the Rust Bucket
****and1/2 out of *****

Neil Young has been going through his archive in recent years and releasing lots of material, Way Down in the Rust Bucket is at the top of the heap when it comes to these type of releases from the artist. From the first notes Young and Crazy Horse are on and everything sounds fuzzy and fantastic in their warm lumbering distorted way. The album has a relaxed feeling of an enhanced practice session and that is right in the wheelhouse of one of the best garage bands of all-time. 

After the release of the excellent Ragged Glory, Young and Crazy Horse (Ralph Molina – drums, vocals Frank Sampedro – guitar, Stringman, vocals Billy Talbot – bass guitar, vocals) prepped for a world tour with a small show at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA on November 13, 1990. The three set show has long been bootlegged by fans (RtBE included) and delivers three sets of prime Horse in their element. While billed as a tune up show for their world tour the band are loose yet locked in, like only they can be. 

One of the appeals of this set for long time fans are rarely played tracks like "Surfer Joe and Moe The Sleaze" "T-Bone" and "Bite The Bullet" but classics are well represented also. Everything off of Ragged Glory gets an airing and every song is played in woolly Horse fashion, Songs like "Country Home", "Love To Burn", "Sedan Delivery", "Mansion on the Hill" and a flowing "Over and Over Again" all are dynamite. 

Each live track is worth hearing but some rise even higher as an extended "Danger Bird" soars while the closing trio of "Like a Hurricane", "Love and Only Love" and "Cortez the Killer" are world class, making you think the band could just keep playing forever in this mode.  

The only issue with the release is the exclusion of "Cowgirl in the Sand" from this show. It was not officially released because of a minor power outage messed up the recording, but is included on the DVD of the show with lesser front of house mixes. Needless to say Young's detail to sound quality is everywhere as the album sounds glorious.     

This album is a must for Crazy Horse fans and if people are interested in diving in deep to the Horse, Way Down in the Rust Bucket isn't a bad starting place. A few years back we dove into Young for our Masters series and ranked his live albumsWeld was released at the end of this tour, a collection of huge arena rockers. After years of listening to the bootleg of this show, the upgraded sound and great album art lead us to place this one above Weld in our personal rankings, but both display the dynamic alchemy onstage when Young and the Horse get rocking. 

Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video:

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