Neil Young Releases ‘Fireside Sessions’ Porch Episode Featuring Bob Dylan Cover
Neil Young chided the current administration during a particularly politically charged new installment of his Fireside Sessions video series. Young played a number of original songs with a political bent including a cover of Bob Dylan‘s protest anthem “The Times They Are A-Changin'” during the sixth Fireside Session.
The 74-year-old musical icon opens the video filled with acoustic performances by tackling “Alabama” from 1972’s Harvest, a song he mothballed between 1977 and 2015. Next up was “Campaigner,” a rarity with the refrain “even Richard Nixon has soul.” While Young’s lyric shows empathy for Richard Nixon, those in the song “Ohio,” which was performed after “Campaigner,” rage against him. Neil wrote “Ohio” 50 years ago in response to the Kent State massacre and name checks the president at the time in a negative light.
Young’s 33-minute video, which was filmed and edited by his wife, Daryl Hannah, continues with a faux commercial for water and Neil’s second ever performance of “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” Neil had only played the song once prior, as per Sugar Mountain, when he sat-in on electric guitar for all of Bob Dylan’s set at The Greek Theatre in Berkeley on June 10, 1988. Another rarity followed as Neil dusted off “Lookin’ For A Leader” from his 2006 album, Living With War.
Neil changed the lyrics to “Lookin’ For A Leader” during the only other performance of the song besides a take during a CSNY concert in Camden, New Jersey on July 6, 2006. “We had Barack Obama and we really need him now,” Young sang on the porch at his Colorado home. “America has a leader building walls around our house. Don’t all Black lives matter and we’ve got to vote him out.”
“Southern Man” from Young’s 1970 solo album, After The Gold Rush, was the penultimate song of the latest Fireside Sessions video. Neil closed out the set as the sun was setting with “Little Wing,” a tune he played for the first time since 1977 for the initial Fireside Sessions video. Head to Neil Young Archives to watch the “Porch Episode” of Fireside Sessions (note: mobile users may have trouble viewing the clip).
Set: Alabama, Campaigner, Ohio, The Times They Are A-Changin’, Lookin’ For A Leader, Southern Man, Little Wing