Storytone

Storytone

by Neil Young

CD

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Overview

Storytone arrived at the end of a year that already saw another new Neil Young album -- that would be A Letter Home, a collection of folk covers recorded at Jack White's Voice-O-Graph direct-to-vinyl recording booth at Third Man Records -- which itself was only the tip of the iceberg that was Neil's 2014. That spring, Young launched a high-end digital audio system called Pono, which was followed by the summer news that he was divorcing Pegi, his wife of 36 years, an event that led to a fresh feud with David Crosby that then led to Young saying he would never play with CSN again and, if that weren't enough, Young also published his second book, Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars, just prior to the release of Storytone. That'd be enough to sustain a few years for most artists but we all know perfectly well that Neil Young isn't like most artists. He thrives on this kind of chaos and, appropriately enough, Storytone is fairly messy -- which is quite an achievement for an album recorded in large part live in front of a full orchestra. Young does indeed croon over those strings, often rhapsodizing about the powers of new love or pleading to save the Earth, although he sometimes gets restless and rolls out a swinging big band. This means Storytone sometimes plays like a hybrid of Harvest at its most florid and the bloozy swagger of This Note's for You -- a curious combination that doesn't seem quite as extreme on the album's second disc, which houses nothing but solo renditions of the record's ten tunes, but the very fact that there's a reverse image of the album strengthens the impression that Young isn't much in the mood to keep things simple. Which is odd, because all the original songs here are relatively simple, built to withstand simple arrangements -- they sound fine when Young supports himself with no more than a guitar, piano, or ukulele -- and they don't buckle underneath the weight of an orchestra. Versatile they may be, but they're united by Young's aching sincerity. He's earnest whether he's taking a stance against fracking, romanticizing his old car, or singing about new love with the dewiness of a teenager. The open-heartedness is sweet if somewhat adolescent, a feeling not helped by the preponderance of 2014 headlines about Young's love life, but even without that tabloid gunk, songs like "Glimmer" have an optimism that sounds just a shade disarming coming from a former cynic facing 70. But that's one of the glorious things about Neil Young: he surprises and by delivering this big, sloppy valentine to everything he is and everything he loves, he's not being neat but he is true to himself.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/04/2014
Label: Reprise / Wea
UPC: 0093624931706
catalogNumber: 546421
Rank: 214315

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Neil Young   Primary Artist
Kim Richmond   Saxophone
Bob Sheppard   Saxophone
Walt Harrah   Vocals
Larry Kaplan   Flute
Richard Altenbach   Violin
Beth Andersen   Vocals
Joan Beal   Vocals
Michael Bearden   Organ,Conductor,Wurlitzer
Chuck Berghofer   Bass
Amick Byram   Vocals
Clayton Cameron   Drums
Lenny Castro   Percussion
Alvin Chea   Vocals
Craig Copeland   Vocals
Brian Dembow   Viola
Joel Derouin   Violin
George Doering   Acoustic Guitar
Monique Donnelly   Vocals
Jeff Driskill   Saxophone
Chuck Findley   Trumpet
Maurice Grants   Cello
Daniel Greco   Percussion
Dan Higgins   Clarinet,Saxophone
Mitch Holder   Electric Guitar
Greg Huckins   Clarinet
Clydene Jackson   Vocals
Darryl Jones   Electric Bass
Ron King   Trumpet
Katie Kirkpatrick   Harp
Victor Lawrence   Cello
Dimitrie Leivici   Violin
Dane Little   Cello
Rob Lockhart   Saxophone
Andy Martin   Trombone
Scott Mayo   Saxophone
Bob McChesney   Trombone
Edward Meares   Bass
Joel Peskin   Saxophone
Tom Peterson   Saxophone
Carol Pool   Violin
Tom Ranier   Piano
Mark Robertson   Violin
Tina Soule   Cello
Alan Steinberger   Piano
Sally Stevens   Vocals
Cecilia Tsan   Cello
Arturo Velasco   Trombone
Ian Walker   Bass
Ken Wild   Bass
Evan Wilson   Viola
Waddy Wachtel   Electric Guitar
Elin Carlson   Vocals
Peter Doubrovsky   Bass
Jeff Babko   Keyboards
William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach   Trombone
Wayne Bergeron   Trumpet
Steve Baxter   Trombone
Bill Churchville   Trumpet
David Delhomme   Organ
David Loucks   Vocals
Chris Walden   Conductor
Chris Bleth   Oboe
Mike Geiger   Vocals
Keith Greene   Viola
Michael Valerio   Bass
Andrew Schulman   Cello
Daphne Chen   Violin
Kevin Richardson   Trumpet
Oscar Hidalgo   Bass
Dimitri Bovaird   Viola
Timothy Loo   Cello
Sarah Thornblade   Violin
Reid Bruton   Vocals
Carolyn Riley   Viola
Aimee Kreston   Violin
Amy Fogerson   Vocals
Lisa Dondlinger   Violin
Paul Henning   Violin
Monica Lee   Vocals
Henry Gronnier   Violin
Ryan Cross   Acoustic Bass
Neel Hammond   Violin
Belinda Broughton   Violin,Concert Master
Lucia Micarelli   Violin
Steve Richards   Cello
Caroline Buckman   Viola
Donald Foster   Clarinet
Gerald White   Vocals
Fletcher Sheridan   Vocals
Amy Wickman   Violin
Lauren Chipman   Viola
Radu Pieptea   Violin
Joel Pargman   Violin
Serena McKinney   Violin
Karen Whipple   Vocals
Jeanie Lim   Viola
Ina Veli   Violin
Giovanna Moraga Clayton   Cello
Bob Zimmitti   Percussion
Stuart Clark   Clarinet
Nina Evthuhov   Violin
Gina Coletti   Viola
Maia Jasper   Violin
Alex Iles   Trombone
Michael Lichtenauer   Vocals
Kenneth Munday   Bassoon
Laszlo Mezo   Cello
Marc Sazer   Violin
Steven Becknell   French Horn
Luke Maurer   Viola
Vanessa Freebairn-Smith   Cello
Tamara Hatwan   Violin
Eric Boulanger   Violin
Dave Everson   French Horn
Eric Bradley   Vocals
David H. Speltz   Cello
Sarah Parkins   Violin
Joon Sung Jun   Cello
Sandie Hall   Vocals
Rick Bullock   Trombone
Jennifer Olson   Flute
Kala Balch   Vocals
Mick Taras   Banjo,Guitar
Eric Rynearson   Viola
Kevin Connolly   Violin
Chad Reisser   Vocals
Kye Palmer   Trumpet
Benjamin Jaber   French Horn
Debbie Gleason   Vocals
Baraka May Williams   Vocals
Dylan Hart   French Horn
Jessica Pearlman   English Horn
Laura Brenes   French Horn
Will Goldman   Vocals
Benjamin Smolen   Flute
Arnold Livingston Geis   Vocals
Jacob Braun   Cello
Benjamin Powell   Violin
Rick Logan   Vocals
Wade Culbreth   Percussion
Mitch Moore   Vocals
Judy Farmer   Bassoon
Donna Medine   Vocals
Christine Guter Helfrerich   Vocals

Technical Credits

Neil Young   Composer,Producer,Paintings
Michael Bearden   Arranger,Producer,Orchestration
Niko Bolas   Producer,Engineer
Gary Burden   Art Direction
Elliot Roberts   Direction
Schmitt   Engineer
Josef Zimmerman   Music Librarian
Patrick Russ   Orchestration
Steve Genewick   Engineer
Chris Walden   Arranger,Producer,Orchestration
Jenice Heo   Art Direction,Photo Montage
Edie Lehmann Boddicker   Choir Contractor
Kurt Kasinoff   Guitar Techician
Whitney Martin   Assistant Contractor

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