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Neil Young - Heart of Gold (2006)

1 rating: 3.0
Music Video & Concerts movie directed by Jonathan Demme

"I just want to play well, share the stage with my friends, give the best I can," says Neil Young before the concert that is the centerpiece ofHeart of Gold. No problem, dude. Working with filmmaker Jonathan Demme, Young has come up with a gem--not all … see full wiki

Tags: Movies
Director: Jonathan Demme
Genre: Music, Musical
1 review about Neil Young - Heart of Gold (2006)

Sound of Gold

  • Jun 26, 2007
In the Prologue of Neil Young's beautiful concert DVD, 'Heart of Gold' key players, which are ample, reminisce over the highlights of concerts past. Each musician is alone except interviewer and camera, and the feeling is eager but laid back. Neil Young himself explains that the people he's chosen for this special concert are friends and not merely studio musicians, setting up a feel that Roy Orbison enjoyed for his magnificent 'Black and White Night' DVD. There is the same sense of intimacy, and, while I suspected a retro act, the scope and splendor of the chosen material is great. Although about two or three songs are familiar hits, he breathed real life into this concert at Reiman Auditorium in Nashville where the acoustics resonate with perfection. Besides a great repertoire of songs, his styles draw from country, bluegrass, folk, gospel, blues, and rock. Each song seems so singularly crafted and find Young switching from guitar to harmonica to banjo to piano. Distinctively, he proves to have many friends who back him up with vocals, brass, guitars, fiddles, and, even, a broom. Misguided casual fans like me are immediately struck by the economy of words that come in a stream on this "Prairie Wind" harvest.

More specifically, theme song "Prairie Wind" opens with words "It's a long road behind me...It's a long road ahead of me." Indeed even with his weathered, tan face he sings enraptured in his own music which translates the wisdom of his years. Whether singing about 9/11 ("Falling off the Face of the Earth") or "King, the best hound dog," ("He Was King") he connects in spare language. At one of his intimate moments he shares before "This Old Guitar" how he acquired the worn guitar he uses onstage from Hank Williams. Highlights are for every song, but "When God Made Me" so eloquently scotches any argument for chauvenism or bigotry known to man. In too few words to measure, he bridges the gap to every gender, race, and creed. Alone with his harmonica he adds to the mellow sweetness with "I'm Still in Love with You" and the lovely, wide-eyed "Harvest Moon". Oddly, "Heart of Gold" and "Old Man" seem anti-climatic, but are marvelous nonetheless. His explanation for the latter song is worth checking out. Seven guitars serenade "Four Strong Winds," (which, incidentally, was one of the tracks on Johnny Cash's last C.D.). Neil Young goes out with big brass on "One of These Days," but not without a couple of intimate moments: One is "Needle and the Damage Done," (which despite the movie warning, doesn't doing anything but deter drug use). Then, I believe, it's "The Old Laughing Lady" that finds Neil on stage to an empty auditorium.

There's little to criticize. Jonathan Demme deserves credit for capturing this "golden" event. While I would have preferred more shots of supporting players, no one will argue about the focus of this film, and many fans may find that assessment all wet. The small auditorium and the silent awe for this performance gives the whole affair the intimacy of Orbison in a nightclub setting. This DVD is a must for fans and the uninitiated alike. (Also starring Emmylou Harris, Ron Keith, Karl Himmell, Chad Cromwell, Larry Cragg, Spooner Oldham, Rick Rosas, Gary Pigg, Diana DeWitt, The Nashville String Machine, et al) (Essential)

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