Neil Young has posted the third concert from his ongoing Fireside Sessions series. Like the two others, it’s a 30-minute acoustic show directed by Daryl Hannah at the home they share in Colorado. Watch it at the Neil Young Archives.
Keeping with tradition, the set eschews obvious hits in favor of beloved albums cuts like “New Mama” and “World on a String” from Tonight’s The Night, “See The Sky About to Rain” from On The Beach, the Buffalo Springfield tune “I Am a Child” and “Throw Your Hatred Down” from Mirror Ball, the 1995 LP he made in collaboration with Pearl Jam. The latter song had never previously been performed on the piano. Young also played a moving version of the CSNY classic “Helpless.”
The songs are shot all around the house as their two dogs walk in and out of the frame and sometimes frolic in the snow. It wraps up with a stunning outdoor rendition of “Already One” with Young in silhouette against a setting sun. It’s just second time he’s done the Comes a Time tune since 2009 and just the fifth time since the Seventies.
This is the first Fireside Session show in two weeks, though they originally planned on getting it up earlier. “There was a brief delay,” Young explained in a post on the Neil Young Archives, “as my lovely wife was ill for several says and had to isolate herself, even during isolation. It proved particularly challenging on the food front, however she recovered, all is well now and we’re back on track.”
Hannah shoots and edits the entire show on her iPad. They initially tried to stream it live, but the bandwidth was too low at their home. To get around that and not risk exposure to the coronavirus, they devised a system where they leave her iPad outside their door where a friend, wearing a mask and gloves, picks it up and drives it to town where it can be properly uploaded to Young’s engineer John Hanlon.
Young originally planned on touring with Crazy Horse this year, but the virus forced him to come up with this other plan. Tonight, April 11th. he will appear at Willie Nelson’s At Home With Farm Aid broadcast alongside fellow Farm Aid board members Dave Matthews and John Mellencamp. It’s unclear if that will be a totally separate performance or something drawn from this new Fireside Session show.