Saturday, January 30, 2010

Live: Grey Riders

Neil Young & the International Harvesters: Grey Riders

[commercially unavailable]

[Neil Young's Official Website]

Neil Young's country album, Old Ways bears only a passing resemblance to his live shows of the time. The album is burdened with over-the-top, slick '80s country production, But his live backing band, the International Harvesters, could rock when called upon. "Grey Riders" is an unreleased song from their late '85 tour. It's one of my favorites from this period. Lyrically, it's little more than a rewrite of "Ghost Riders in the Sky", but it boils over with atmospheric intensity.

I seem to recall that at some point Neil was forced by the International Harvester Company to rename the band, and they became The Grey Riders in late '85, but so far the only confirmation I have of this is my own not-well-documented (and long-abandoned) research from my early days on the Internet and the cover of the ROIO used for this entry's photo (and we know how accurate they can be!), so I've stuck with the "International Harvesters" moniker for this recording.

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