Neil Young & The Stray Gators Announce ‘Tuscaloosa’ Album & Share ‘Don’t Be Denied’


Neil Young culled highlights from his February 5, 1973 concert at the University Of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with The Stray Gators for a live album entitled Tuscaloosa, which is due out on June 7 via Warner Bros Records. The first single from the 11-track LP is a slow and beautiful version of “Don’t Be Denied.”

The Stray Gators consisted of Ben Keith on pedal steel and vocals, Jack Nitzsche on keyboards, Tim Drummond on bass and drummer Kenny Buttrey. Here’s what Young recently told Rolling Stone in revealing Tuscaloosa was coming:

It’s [a concert] from the period right around Harvest and Tonight’s the Night. For me, it’s edgy. It’s like those mellow songs with an edge. It’s really trippy to be down in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and singing those songs from Harvest and the songs that we were doing for Time Fades Away before it came out. I found this thing and it had such a great attitude to it. I just loved the whole night, so I put that together with [engineer] John Hanlon. That will be our next album. Then we’ll do the other one and the other ones after that. There’s just so many that I keep changing my mind all the time. It’s good. It’s good to be able to change your mind. [Note: The February 5th, 1973, Tuscaloosa, Alabama show has never circulated in bootleg circles and fans have never even reconstructed the complete set list.]

Producer John Hanlon shared a note on Neil Young Archives about Tuscaloosa:

Dear readers,

Regarding the upcoming TUSCALOOSA live album from the February 5, 1973 concert in Alabama; mastering for vinyl and hi-res is now underway at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Hollywood.

I mixed the album in Studio 2 at East West in Hollywood over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays from analog 16 track 2” masters to ¼” 30ips tape, sending my mixes daily to Neil in Colorado to listen to. Then Neil would send his comments to me live as he listened. Suggested changes made, I then assembled the final mixes for three master album reels for three sides of vinyl, based on sequencing done previously with Neil in the digital realm. During the sequencing, two songs, “ON THE WAY HOME” AND “THE LONER” were dropped. ‘On the way Home’ has already appeared on many live records. ‘The Loner’ was out of tune.

It was analog to analog all the way around for TUSCALOOSA, the next upcoming live record by Neil and the Stray Gators, (unless something else happens to change that). The 192/24 master for NYA will be generated from the analog mastering, directly from the master tapes through Grundman Mastering’s great console.

Happy listening, John Hanlon

Only two tracks from Neil’s 1973 live album, Time Fades Away are featured on Tuscaloosa. Time Fades Away was recorded during the same 1973 tour with The Stray Gators that included the show in Alabama. Young’s latest vault release contains five songs from his landmark 1972 studio album Harvest. Fittingly, the song “Alabama” made it on to Tuscaloosa. “Alabama” would disappear from Neil Young’s repertoire until 2015 following the early-1973 tour outside of a lone performance in 1977 as per Sugar Mountain.

Listen to “Don’t Be Denied” from Tuscaloosa below:

Tuscaloosa Tracklist

  1. Here We Are In The Years (3:56)
  2. After The Gold Rush (4:42)
  3. Out On The Weekend (5:29)
  4. Harvest (4:14)
  5. Old Man (4:17)
  6. Heart Of Gold (3:48)
  7. Time Fades Away (6:10)
  8. Lookout Joe (4:59)
  9. New Mama (3:01)
  10. Alabama (3:50)
  11. Don’t Be Denied (8:09)

Tour Dates for
Neil Young