Neil Young – Storytone: Who’s Gonna Stand up?

Neil Young

By Joshua Daniel

Neil Young is still rockin in the free world and he’s bound & determined to pound this idea into your head. If you haven’t been understanding his music with Crazy Horse, or with his various other bands, he will make it clear through three different styles of music.  “Storytone” the latest record from Neil Young and company includes renditions in solo acoustic, full band and at times a 92 piece orchestra.

The first single released for “Storytone” is “Who’s Gonna Stand Up?” It’s a modern day protest song about standing up and declaring people want a change to the system that is run by oil and profits.  It’s well written and powerful.  The charging rendition that Neil Young performs with Crazy Horse live, is played perfectly in classic chugging Crazy Horse style.  Gospel choir vocals round out the background and give the song a different kind of power.  The version with 92 piece orchestra sounds like it could be the intro music to “An Inconvenient truth”.  The instrumentation is flawless. This mix features Neil Young alone singing in a somewhat restrained fashion.

The version with Neil Young and his acoustic guitar is probably my personal favorite. This is Neil Young at his best using a somewhat distorted playing style of finger picking and strumming. It must be said that all the songs are recorded live in one take. It is a new mantra Young is taking.  He believes music should be pure, avoiding overdubs.  The musicianship is some of the best I have heard in Neil Young’s career.

Who is gonna meet me at Silver Platters on November 4th to pick this album up?  I know I will be reserving a copy.  You can head to hear all three songs I talk about.