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Neil Young – The Moonlit Sessions

Neil Young’s Moonlit Sessions
Oct 1, 2012 9:00 AM, Mix, By Barbara Schultz
REUNION WITH CRAZY HORSE YIELDS TWO POWERFUL ALBUMS

Working with Neil Young can be a wild card, for sure, but it’s probably one of the most exciting gigs a studio engineer can have. John Hanlon has been producing, recording and mixing Young for about 17 years, and to say it never gets boring would be a gross understatement. It’s a thrill. It’s musical genius live on the floor. It’s awesome power on the fly, by the light of the full moon…

Hanlon’s relationship with Young started in 1983, when he and David Briggs, Young’s longtime producer, were working on Trans remixes. Hanlon joined Briggs again in 1990, engineering and mixing Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s magnificent Ragged Glory, and Young has been calling upon Hanlon’s talents ever since.

“When Neil calls me, it’s always out of the blue,” Hanlon says. “His manager, Elliot Roberts, and Neil will call together and say, ‘We need you yesterday.’ Then I just drop everything to go, because I’m working with a real artistic visionary.”

In August 2011, Hanlon got the call to head up from his home in Malibu to Young’s ranch in Northern California. “They told me we’d be working with Crazy Horse and Mark Humphreys,” Hanlon explains. “Mark is Neil’s monitor engineer onstage; he runs the P.A. in the studio. We record everything live, with no headphones. There’s some overdubbing later, but he always goes for the live performance feel. It’s always about the performance with him.”

Hanlon didn’t know in August that the sessions would result in two albums: a heavy, hard-rocking batch of folk songs called Americana, and Psychedelic Pill, a collection of new originals. Hanlon was simply told that the first order of business would be to install a studio that could serve as a working clubhouse for the musicians and a small crew.

“I was to build a studio in one of the houses on the ranch where David Briggs and Tim Mulligan had done American Stars ’n Bars with Neil back in the ’80s,” Hanlon says. “And he wanted to do it 8-track analog, which meant we’d also snapshot to Pro Tools, but he wanted an 8-track setup, in the building they call the ‘white house.’

“First I went up for some preliminary meetings with my assistant engineer, John Hausmann, to lay out the space and check out the acoustics. I purposely didn’t ask how they had set up the room for American Stars ’n Bars. I wanted to feel the vibe in the room without any preconceived notions of copying what they did. That was the 1980s; sounds and amplifiers, and where people’s heads were, would have affected the sound coming off of the instruments and from their souls at that time, anyway. Everything changes.

Read more:
mixonline.com/recording/artists_engineers_producers/neil_youngs_moonlit_sessions/

Moon, Halfmoon, Venus, Jupiter

over the skies at the Rhinian-Neil-Young-center, Castle Huelchrath:

Moon-Venus-Jupiter

You can even see the Earth’s shadow on the moon. On top is Venus, the more brilliant planet. Next to the moon is Jupiter, the gas giant, our solar system vacuum cleaner.

Neil content:

THE OLD HOMESTEAD

(Hawks and Doves)

Up and down the old homestead
The naked rider gallops through his head
And although the moon isn’t full
He still feels the pull.

Out on the floor where the cowboys dance
Approaching slowly at a glance
Here comes the shadow of his stance
The reins are fallin’ from his hands.

Why do you ride that crazy horse?
Inquires the shadow with little remorse
Just then a priest comes down the stairs
With a sack of dreams and old nightmares.

Thanks to Grandpa.

Bloodmoon, 15 June 2011

finally a photo

by Con. [click for hi resolution]

Some moar fotos:

Again moar fotos:

Full Moon, wild Earth

NASA says:

On March 19th, a full Moon of rare size and beauty will rise in the east
at sunset. It’s a super “perigee moon”–the biggest in almost 20 years.

Neil in the barn, writing a new song…
http://www.neilyoung.com/tour.html

>>> moar moon pix by our readers on BNB.

 

Random Quote

“A sparkle was in his eye
But his life was in his hands.”

by -- Neil Young

Neil Young on Tour

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Sugar Mountain setlists

Tom Hambleton provides BNB with setlists, thankfully. His website is the most comprehensive searchable archives on the Internets about anything Neil Young related setlists. Goto Sugar Mountain.

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HH-Radio + NY Info

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Human Highway

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Oh My Darling Clementine

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