‘I don’t know how it happens, but I’m a different guy’: Neil Young on working with Crazy Horse

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Neil Young, in an appearance last night with Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show,” talks about the musical spark he finds in working with Crazy Horse.

“I don’t know how it happens,” Young tells Stewart, “but when I am singing and playing with Crazy Horse, I’m a different guy. I write a different thing. I see things differently … I see deeper pictures. I’m able to write and express myself much deeper, in a way that I can’t do with anybody else — and I don’t know why.”

As evidence of their creative alchemy: Young and Crazy Horse have already issued two studio albums this year, and a post at at Young’s official web site indicated that another live recording could also be in the offing.

This after a break stretching back to 2003, when Young and Crazy Horse issued Greendale. Before that, Crazy Horse had played on all or a portion of some 20 Young projects — including After the Gold Rush in 1970, Tonight’s the Night in 1975 and Rust Never Sleeps in 1979, along with the radio hit “Cinnamon Girl.”

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: Neil Young’s appearance earlier this month in Vancouver found an already-baked crowd enjoying a spirited concert under an enormous, newly unfurled Canadian flag.]

They roared back this year with a garage-rocking collection of reimagined traditional songs on Americana and then followed that with a scalding original set called Psychedelic Pill, issued in October. These two projects were the first to feature an expanded Crazy Horse lineup including Ralph Molina, Frank “Poncho” Sampedro and Billy Talbot since 1996’s Broken Arrow.

The relationship is clearly better than ever.

“I’m just very thankful for it,” Young tells Stewart. “And it just keeps getting stronger and stronger — until, I guess like the drummer in Spinal Tap, you know, it goes boom.”

Young and Crazy Horse have earlier issued several concert recordings, most notably Rust Never Sleeps in 1978 and then Weld in 1990 — as well as 1979’s Live Rust and 1997’s Year Of The Horse, with the latter serving as a soundtrack for a Jim Jarmusch documentary on the group.

Click here to purchase …

Psychedelic PillRust Never SleepsGreendale (Bonus Dvd)Weld (2 disc set)

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