Neil Young week

Howie Klein:

In 1999 I was still president of Reprise when a quartet of college faves of mine, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reunited to record, release and tour behind LOOKING FORWARD. So long ago… remember what it was like in the world before George Bush? The new CSN&Y tour, Freedom of Speech Your ’06, is very different from the LOOKING FORWARD Tour.

Ben Werner of the Orange County Register doesn’t want to mince words. “The quartet of 60-somethings has rallied around a decidedly strident work, Young’s LIVING WITH WAR, easily the most bluntly outspoken response to the president and the Iraq war yet recorded. Slammed out in a six-day rage, the disc’s nine straightforward anthems (and choir rendition of “America the Beautiful”) scream for CS&N’s harmonies and willingness to take a similar stand… Trust me, these won’t be your grandfather’s CSN&Y shows. Yeah, across 30-plus songs in two sets, they typically toss in ‘Our House’ and ‘Helplessly Hoping’ to temper the attack. But with the majority of Young’s fed-up firebombs alternating with Vietnam-era staples like ‘Ohio’ and ‘Chicago’ and ‘For What It’s Worth,’ this throwback to change-the-world rock will surely be the most protest-heavy series of shows since 2004’s Vote for Change.

More here, along with a nine-minute documentary about the current tour.