(hennemusic) Neil Young is expanding his Original Bootleg Series this spring with the release of a pair of 1970s concert recordings. On April 14, the rocker will deliver "Somewhere Under The Rainbow", which captures Neil Young with the Santa Monica Flyers recorded live in 1973 at the Rainbow Theatre in London. Young is joined by a lineup that includes Nils Lofgren (lead and rhythm guitar, piano, accordion, vocals), Ben Keith (pedal steel guitar, vocals), Billy Talbot (bass, vocals) and Ralph Molina (drums, vocals).
Referenced as a night of high-wire performances and semi-unhinged sonics, the concert has taken on a mythic legend in the past 50 years. All the musicians were in a free-form state of mind and swung for the fences on every track.
The second live set, "High Flyin'", sees Young in the summer of 1977 in concert with a storied Northern California aggregation called The Ducks. It was a band that often made unannounced appearances in their own backyards at clubs like the Back Room, The Crossroads Club, The Catalyst and others, featuring Young (guitar, harmonica and vocals), Bob Mosley (bass and vocals), Jeff Blackburn (guitar and vocals) and Johnny Craviotto (drums & vocals).
In the time The Ducks existed, the rumors of their shows took on a word-of-mouth excitement that made those in the small audiences feel like the chosen few and allowed bragging rights for all who were lucky enough to be there. The quartet's set lists included songs from a wide range of the band members' backgrounds and were often decided on the night of the shows.
Stream audio of performances of "Human Highway" from "Somewhere Under The Rainbow" and "Little Wing" from "High Flyin'" here.