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Uncut mag: First listen of Americana

Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s “Americana”: first listen
John Mulvey, 29th March 2012

It begins as you might imagine, with a guitarist who seems about to play a sputtering solo rather than start a song, a drummer trying to work out what time to keep and, gradually, a band lunging towards a tune: “Oh Susannah”.

After a minute or so, you can hear Neil Young shout “Oh Susannah” away from his mic, prompting a choir to start chanting the title. It is at this point that Crazy Horse locate the dogged, heroic sense of purpose that has sustained them, on and off, for a good four decades. They’re moving a fraction faster than usual, in truth: as my colleague John Robinson points out, the call-and-response interplay between Young and the backing singers, aligned to the inexorable “good groove” (as Young calls it in the fade-out), make it all oddly resemble Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ “Dig Lazarus Dig”.

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