Neil Young is recording a new album with Crazy Horse, according to a post on Young’s fansite Thrasher’s Wheat – and now confirmed by Rolling Stone: “It’s looking good,” a representative for Young says. According to the fansite report, Young shared the news over the weekend at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, at an event with Jonathan Demme to promote their new movie Journeys. The audience “erupted in applause” when Young said that he was working with Crazy Horse again. Multiple fans subsequently posted on Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina’s Facebook wall to ask if the news was true. His response: “Yes!”
Young began playing with the garage rock band in 1968 and they back him on many of his greatest albums, including Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Zuma, Rust Never Sleeps and Ragged Glory. Their last album was the 2003 rock opera Greendale, though it didn’t feature guitarist Frank “Poncho” Sampedro. The band (including Poncho) toured with Young in 2003 and 2004 to support the disc, though they haven’t played together since the tour ended March 21st, 2004 at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. This has been the longest time Young has gone without performing with the group since their formation, though Crazy Horse drummer Ralph Molina played with Young on his 2007 disc Chrome Dreams II and the first few legs of the supporting tour. He was replaced by drummer Chad Cromwell in the summer of 2008 for unknown reasons.
The full line-up of Crazy Horse hasn’t backed Young on an album since Broken Arrow in 1996, though they did record an LP in 2000 called Toast that Neil opted to shelf. “It’s great rock & roll, very moody, kind of jazzy,” Young told Rolling Stone in 2008, who was then contemplating a release of the disc. “It’s really dark. It’s got everything that the best Crazy Horse albums have had. It won’t be the most commercial Crazy Horse album ever out.”
In that same interview, we asked Neil if he had any desire to work with Crazy Horse again. “I’m not thinking about that right now,” he said. “We’ll just see what happens. Something might happen. You never know. Or something else we don’t even know about could happen, and that would be really good, rather than go back. But if the vibe’s right to go back and grab what’s back there and yank it into the future, that’s a big job.”
According to the report on Thrasher’s Wheat, Young said that he’s already recorded one album with Crazy Horse and another is in the works. It’s unclear if Toast is the finished album. There’s word of a spring release for the album, but don’t get your hopes up too high. Things change very quickly in the world of Neil Young. Remember that 30-date Buffalo Springfield that was supposedly happening this year?