These kids are still alright – just a little older. Neil Young, at 67, released two albums, with Psychedelic Pill and its elongated guitar workouts vastly superior to Americana; Dylan, at 71, continued to intrigue and inspire with his best album in years; Cohen, at 78, waltzed back into our hearts with grace and insight; Dr John, at 72, reignited his New Orleans groove with rare panache and Springsteen, the boy at 63, made his stand in the bitter US political wars with lung-busting commitment and fervour. Ry Cooder (65) also showed which side he was on with Election Special. Other senior citizens who put in a decent shift included John Hiatt, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, Donald Fagen, Willie Nelson and the long-lost Iris DeMent. The bright young things, relatively speaking, included Mick Flannery, Kevin Doherty, First Aid Kit, Daniel Martin Moore and Joan Shelley and the amazing Punch Brothers.
Neil Young (right)