Rolling Stone reports that in the late eighties, Neil Young toured California with his eleven-piece blues band, The Bluenotes and managed to thoroughly confuse crowds across the state by forgoing his classic, raspy hits for an entirely different sound. And that unusual tour is the main source of material for Bluenote Café, which blends songs from eleven shows on the 1987–88 tour, and includes seven unreleased songs.
For fans of Neil Young, or anyone who's heard more than one of his songs, his characteristic sound can be picked out of a crowd (unless you're amazing at copying it like Jimmy Fallon) and doesn't vary much from song to song. He does what he does, and none of this is a bad thing — but it's refreshing to hear him step outside of the box a bit. We're fans of this new/old sound.
Listen to the full stream of Bluenote Café in advance of the album release here.
Photos by Clayton Call / Redferns