Live At The Cellar Door is part of Neil Young’s ongoing “Archives Performance Series” (volume 2.5, curiously enough) and pulls together thirteen songs recorded during his six solo shows at Washington D.C.’s Cellar Door in late 1970, including debut performances of Old Man and See The Sky About To Rain.
Playing to an appreciative crowd, Neil switches between guitar and piano (“I had it put in my contract that I would only play on a 9 foot Steinway grand piano. Just for a little eccentricity.”) and drops in a very rare performance of Cinnamon Girl on the latter.
Tracks from After The Gold Rush feature heavily, and there’s a stunning rendition of the title track. Buffalo Springfield songs also feature, including Expecting To Fly and Flying On The Ground Is Wrong.
A beautiful warm performance (both vocally and instrumentally) and great patter (“you’d laugh too, you know, if this was what you did for a living”) make this one of the best archive releases of the year.
10 December 2013.
Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Don’t Let It Bring You Down, Flying On The Ground Is Wrong.