Neil Young is nearing the long-storied release of his sprawling 10 disc early career Archive Vol. 1 set. Until then, enthusiasts will have to wet their appetite with a timeless recording, Sugar Mountain- Live at Canterbury House 1968 from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Following the breakup of Buffalo Springfield, Young set out on a solo tour with his guitar and a handful of Springfield tunes mixed with newer, more introspective numbers. Jovial stage raps color the CD/DVD, and Young’s master finger-picking stand front and center in the sound mix. Classics abound, like "On the Way Home," "Mr. Soul" and "The Loner." But this is a pristine, early performance for the artist, and the joy in hearing rare tracks such as "The Last Trip to Tulsa," "Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing" and "Birds" make Sugar Mountain a must have for any collection.
Is it hard to imagine rousing versions of "The Old Laughing Lady" and "Broken Arrow" as breakthrough set enders? That’s just part of the allure of Neil Young’s Sugar Mountain- Live at Canterbury House 1968. No doubt about it, this is one for the ages.
Sugar Mountain – Live at Canterbury House 1968 is out now on Reprise Records.