Hitch­hiker worth wait

Winnipeg Sun - - ENT-SHOWBIZ - SCOTT BAUER The Associated Press

In 1976, Neil Young walked into a Mal­ibu record­ing stu­dio, armed with his acous­tic gui­tar and har­mon­ica, and laid down a bunch of tracks in a sin­gle ses­sion.

They sat un­re­leased for more than 40 years un­til now.

Dubbed Hitch­hiker, the 10-track archival re­lease is a trea­sure trove for Young fans with two pre­vi­ously un­re­leased songs and in­ti­mate ren­di­tions of some of his best loved tunes.

One of those, Pow­derfin­ger, takes on a much more haunt­ing tone than when it was of­fi­cially re­leased in 1979 with the full force and weight of Crazy Horse’s elec­tric may­hem be­hind it. Two other songs that also later showed up on 1979’s Rust Never Sleeps get an early run-through here: Ride My Llama and Poc­a­hon­tas.

No stu­dio ver­sions of Hawaii or Give Me Strength — a stand­out on Hitch­hiker that Young has oc­ca­sion­ally per­formed live — have made it out of the vault be­fore.

Cap­tain Kennedy didn’t make it onto a record un­til 1980, while the ti­tle track had a much longer wait. It didn’t ap­pear un­til 2010’s Le Noise, and then in a dra­mat­i­cally al­tered form.

Speak­ing of al­tered, Young has writ­ten that he was “pretty stony” the night he recorded the Hitch­hiker songs, fu­eled by mar­i­juana and other drugs. Maybe that’s why he was re­luc­tant to put it out un­til now. It was worth the wait.

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