Archive for the ‘Neil Young and The Promise Of The Real’ Tag

Neil Young and Promise of the Real with Puss N Boots at the Champlain Valley Fairgrounds, Essex Junction VT July 19, 2015   Leave a comment

Neil Young at Essex Fairgrounds July 19 2015 Picture by Kim Tuure Faris

Neil Young at Essex Fairgrounds July 19 2015 Picture by Kim Tuure Faris

I had a great time seeing music Sunday night at the Fairgrounds in Essex Junction.  I’ve seen a lot of great artists over the years, but had never caught up with Neil Young.  His new album is about love of our planet and fears about what companies like Monsanto are doing to our food and food system.  Vermont just enacted a law saying products with GMO’s in them need to be labeled and Neil came to our state to voice his support, and play a killer rock show.  I was not sure if I was going to make it but on Friday Mike Luoma said he got tickets and asked if I wanted to go.  I did.  I got out of work around 4:30 and had time to grab some food and relax and we headed out about 6:30.  There was a lot of traffic trying to get into the venue, but we took it slow and steady and arrived just after 7:30.  The weather for the outdoor show looked iffy, and the black cloud over us on the way in spit a few drops or rain, but that was it.  As we approached the parking spot a couple of close lightning bolts lit up the sky, but the cloud steadily moved away.  We made our way to the will call and picked up the tickets.  There was a small packed bar in the grandstand area, but no obvious beer garden.  We guessed there would be one inside, so in we went.  There was not.  There was an open standing area in front of the stage, then rows of seats.  Ours were 4 rows behind the standing area and dead center.  Aside from the lack of beer, it was perfect.

Puss n Boots were on stage when we found out seats.  They played some Americana songs, that would not feel out of place on the Oh Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack.  They played some nice songs, but didn’t really grab me.  I listened intently for the 20 minutes or so until their set ended, and was in a happy place.

A long set break followed, but as the sun began to set, the lights dimmed and two farmers wandered onto the stage.  With large hats to keep away the sun, and large bags of seed hung on their shoulders, they broadcast seeds all over the stage, and stopped now and then to water their flowers.  This went on for several minutes until Neil walked out on the left side of the stage, sat at the piano and began singing After The Gold Rush.  The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I let the gorgeous sounds and words fill me.  The image of the farmers followed by the line “Look at Mother Nature on the run in the 21st century perfectly set up the whole show.  I knew he had a band, so opening solo acoustic said the show was going to be his classic style of starting slow and rocking hard at the end.  Changing the line about Mother Nature set the stage for many songs about being stewards of the earth, which is heavily reflected in his new album The Monsanto Years.  He switched to acoustic guitar for Heart Of Gold, Long May You Run, and Old Man and the audience was enchanted.  He moved over to the pump organ for one of the many songs I would not recognize by title, but knew from the first note.  Mother Earth (Natural Anthem) was beautiful and the line, “Respect Mother Earth and her giving ways Or trade away our children’s days” drove home the point of the whole show. 

As Neil donned the acoustic, and the roadies rolled the organ off the stage, several men in chemical contamination suits, with gas masks and oxygen tanks, doused the stage in an ominous fog.  As they blasted the flowers with an unknown substance, the point was not subtle.  They left the stage and the Promise Of The Real settled into their instruments, and the show went on.  Lucas and Michah Nelson each took a guitar, and the rest of the band was a bass player, a drummer and a percussionist who was set up in the back by the drums.  They followed with a couple of classics that I did not know by name, Out for The Weekend and Unknown Legend, then lit up the audience with Only Love Can Break Your Heart.  They followed with From Hank To Hendrix, which I’ve always really liked, then let loose a gorgeous Harvest Moon.  The band sounded great and Neil was still playing acoustic when they followed with the first new song of the night, Wolf Moon.  It really sounded nice, but then things got a bit more intense

Neil strapped on the electric guitar and kicked off one of those riffs that were instantly recognizable and off we ran through Words (Between The Lines Of Age).  Looking For A Love followed, and was great fun.  A special surprise followed when Neil introduced Lucas Nelson, who sat down at the piano and the band played a beautiful version of Moonlight In Vermont.  It went over exactly as you would expect.  Until this point Neil had not chatted with the audience much if at all, but at this point he firmly stated “Strong Vermont.  Standing up when other states sit down”.  He started off a run of songs from the Monsanto Years with A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop.  The Vermont references in the song charged the crowd and the band went from the whistling chorus into a spot where they rocked hard and brought it back to the whistling with a beautiful precision.  They followed with a couple more Monsanto songs, People Want To Hear About Love, and A New Day For Love.  I forget which one, but one of them rocked so hard that I thought even if he did not play some classics, such as Like A Hurricane, it would not matter since he played some blisteringly intense leads in that one.  They pulled out another Crazy Horse classic , Country Home, then came the highlight of the night.  Down By The River was epic with huge guitar solos and completely wicked playing.  It must have run 15 minutes or so and was face-meltingly fantastic.  After that he said curfew was at 11 and he was not going to waste any time.  There was no encore break, they just kept going.  They played two more Monsanto songs, Workin’ Man and Monsanto Years, which were quite nice.  They closed with Love And Only Love, which again had some epic guitar work wrapped in and around the easy to sing verses.  As the song ground to a conclusion Neil hit another note on the guitar, then another, then the band went back into the crashing ending until the music began to fade.  Neil hit another note, then another note and another epic end jam happened.  They ran the final jamming right until 11 and said good night.  This was my first time seeing him, and the show was everything I could have hoped for.  I loved every note and did not even mind the long slow wait to get out of the parking lot. 


Radio Show 120 Thursday July 23, 2015 9-11pm Eastern US Time WBKM.ORG   Leave a comment



I just got back from my local music radio show on internet only I started out with a couple of local highlights from the Neil Young show, then played some great local music.

Song before: Hymnalayas – Gong



From our small city to the great big world, these are the Sounds of Burlington. It’s been a beautiful day in Burlington and lots of people are out and about tonight. It was also a beautiful night last Sunday when Neil Young and The Promise Of The Real came to Essex. He came to Vermont to support our GMO labeling law, which is the subject of his new album The Monsanto Years. This is one of the songs from the album that heavily mentions Vermont and the importance of knowing what we are eating, This is A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop by Neil Young on WBKM, and this is Burlington’s kind of music.

1.) A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop – Neil Young
2.) Moonlight In Vermont – Willie Nelson
3.) Threaded – Jeremy Gilchrist
4.) Dead Summer – Thompson Gunner

It’s summer in Burlington and that was a band from Rutland and that was recorded at Nectar’s. Great new song from Jeremy. At the Neil Young show, Lucas and Micah Nelson were part of the Promise Of The Real. They are the sons of Willie and Lucas sang a great version of Moonlight In Vermont last Sunday in Essex. Oh, yea, it’s summer. Let’s head to the beach.

5.) Beach Song – Mr. Ray Fork
6.) I Wanna Be A Lifeguard – Blotto
7.) Theme Song – Shark Victim
8.) Rising Suns – Mammal Dap
9.) Rise – Barika

Such a nice cool breezy song. If you like that song, head to Radio Bean tomorrow. Mammal just played Summervale earlier this evening. When you go to the beach, obey the lifeguard and watch out for sharks, especially when surfing. So, on Saturday there is a celebration of the Old North End of Burlington. People get together and walk around the ONE and check out art and music and food and what businesses are doing and all sorts of fun things. It’s called The Ramble and this next set of music is dedicated to Burlington’s Old North End.

10.) Old North Ender – James Kochalka
11.) The North – Hana Zara
12.) North Street – Death World Wide

Killer rocker from Death. I love the imagery of the north end in Hana’s song. Loud and Proud nicely describes the ONE, thanks James. OK, it’s time for the next song on JV, the killer new album from The Mountain Says No.

13.) JC And The Beast – The Mountain Says No
14.) Getting High – Heavy Plains
15.) Lean In – When Particles Collide
16.) Nowhere Feels Like Home – Fire The Cannons

I still remember that time when there were not a lot of cool rock bands around for a few months and then came Cannons. Oh, how they rocked so many great shows. Killer song from Particles who are touring all over the US and just played Toronto too. I’m still in awe of Plains from that Nectar’s show. Hmm, Signs And Wonders. Hmmm Mountain. When I put tonight’s show together the beginning just flowed then I hit a wall after Nowhere. I just wasn’t sure where to go next, for a moment.

17.) Where Do We Go? – Black Rabbit
18.) Always Monica – Chin Ho
19.) The Day I Met You – Dirtminers
20.) Mirror Mirror – Joe Adler

Killer song from Joe’s album. He’s done so much for the local music scene, especially writing and playing songs like that. Nice rocker form Raph Worrick and the gang. Classic VT song from Chin. Yet another great song from Rabbit’s new album Red Flannel Hash. Recently, there was a band who played a bunch of shows then just stopped. I’m missing them and feeling a little lacking, like maybe i need to take some vitamins or something.

21.) Vitamin Dee – Persian Claws
22.) Medula Mamblongata – Strung Out
23.) Scattered Birds – Aaron Flinn
24.) The Feeling – Vedora

Killer new song from the second Vedora album. If you liked the whistling on Birds, go check out Aaron next Wednesday at Red Square. Killer song form the classic VT band. I feel a bit better after that shot of Vitamin Dee, I hope you do too. I saw this next band twice last Thursday. They played Summervale, I left then did the show and walked into Light Club Lamp Shop just as they were about to go on. Both shows were great but the later one was out of this world. Here’s a couple of their songs.

25.) Honor Of The Rainbows part 1 & 2 – Arc Iris
26.) Somewhere Far – The Red Telephone
27.) Sayonara – Black Rabbit

I hope you enjoyed checking out the music of our town. I might be off next week seeing the Decemberists but we can to it the week after that, and the week after that…..



Song after: The Great Unraveling – Fish