WRAT’s Erik Swift caught up with the documentary recently. So can you.
Neil Young’s Harvest Time-an acclaimed dive into the 1971 recording of his seminal “Harvest”- unexpectedly begins with a recent introduction by the man himself. Briefly he notes how special this 1972 album is ahead of a two-hour time capsule of (arguably) his finest work’s genesis, and what a wonder it is.
16mm footage is often grainy, but here its enhancements for modern viewing are barely noticeable. Harvest Time’s pristine sound is transcendant. Listening to The Stray Gators-Young’s new backing band-is a blast. Every note from this unit across early attempts at “Alabama” in Young’s northern California barn is pure fun. Harvest Time tends to welcome viewers to a show nobody was to attend, silently peeking at musicians amongst playful dogs and grazing cows. The orchestral rehearsals of “A Man Needs A Maid” are riveting, but its most powerful moments come down to Young and those songs. He can do a lot with that guitar.
Harvest Time is a gift containing peaks and valleys that kept the attention of Thursday’s packed Hazlet theater audience. Young’s presence of mind to film these recordings isn’t surprising, given the 1970 releases of Let It Be, Gimme Shelter and the Oscar-winning Woodstock. That he sat on this for 50 years isn’t surprising either, as he has been steadily unveiling reissues through his Archives series for more than a decade. Harvest Time is worth the wait.
Click here to find a local theater with a showing while you still can.
Carl Craft is studying here on earth for a short time with varying amounts of success. He's heard every morning on The Morning Rat Race. Sometimes he goes, "sock / shoe, sock / shoe" which we think is a sign of some kind of psychosis...