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Monday, April 03, 2006

Nighttime arrives and the camera zooms in on the well worn stage of the Ryman. Demme believes in close-ups and doesn’t spare them as he closes in for plenty of shots of a weather worn looking Young and his back up artists. Notable as a back up singer is Emmylou Harris, who is stunningly beautiful at 59, and we are fortunate to have Young and her do a duet. Young is in top form with his new stuff which includes a song dedicated to his college age daughter. He also exhibits a sense of humor talking about some of his days of growing up in Canada. He explains the sources of some of his older music like "Old Man" which he wrote after being asked by the caretaker of his ranch (an older man, Luis Avila) how he made enough money at his age (24 at the time) to afford such a spread. The caretaker had no idea that Young was a superstar or as Neil says, "a rich hippie". Of the newer tunes I especially liked "This Old Guitar", which Young played on Hank Williams’own guitar, and the title song "Prairie Wind". Among the oldies was the expected "Heart of Gold", now thirty-four years old and from his 1972 album "Harvest". It isYoung’s only song to make it to number one on the charts.

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