By Neil Young, from Live at the Cellar Door (Reprise/Warner); streaming here
On Tuesday Neil Young issues the eighth volume of his Archives Performance Series, and with each new release the excitement level dips a little lower, as similar ground is seemingly covered.
For example, the new Live at the Cellar Door, recorded at the Washington club in 1970, is the fourth volume that captures Young solo between the years 1968 and ’71. Fans of the man, however, will delight in each release’s special particulars, such as the Cellar show’s Cinnamon Girl, performed on the piano for the first time, he tells his audience.
The version is intimate, loose-fitting and grunge-free, and on the bridge it is the mother that is tapped for bread instead of the father (as it is on the 1969 studio cut). Notice how “Ma send me money” is sung with sad-dog eyes, compared to the more casual demand of the original’s “Pa send me money,” and one wonders if Young was getting enough to eat. Mothers worry about such things.