Neil Young and Crazy Horse have begun work on a follow-up to their 2019 LP Colorado. “Crazy Horse is back in the barn now,” Young wrote in the Neil Young Archives. “Shaking off the rust…It’s been a long time since we have been together, and more than a few tears have been shed.”
They’re recording it at a barn in the mountains of Colorado modeled after a barn from the 1850s that collapsed in the same spot. “It’s an exact replica of the original,” Young writes, “built with Ponderosa pines by Ted Moews and his great crew of artisans. It is magic inside.”
“Mark Humphries is doing our monitors, continuing a near fifty year tradition,” Young writes. “Mark notes that this is our ‘new barn’ to replace Plywood Analog on Broken Arrow Ranch, where we did Ragged Glory, Freedom, and other albums…These are new times, with new songs and feelings after what our world has been through and continues to face.”
Colorado was the first Neil Young and Crazy Horse record since the retirement of longtime guitarist Frank “Poncho” Sampedro. He was replaced by Nils Lofgren, whose professional relationship with Neil Young dates back to the After the Gold Rush sessions in 1970. He also played in Crazy Horse for a brief period in 1971 when they released an album on their own. Bassist Billy Talbot and drummer Ralph Molina have been in Crazy Horse since the group formed in 1968.
The new lineup played a handful of shows in 2018 and 2019, and were planning on touring American arenas in 2020 until the pandemic hit. Young has not played in public since Farm Aid in September 2019, but the annual charity show is returning with an in-person concert on September 25th and Young is on the bill. It’s unclear if he’ll play other gigs around that time.
“The music we are making [is] for our souls,” Young wrote when announcing the new Crazy Horse album. “It’s like fresh water on a desert. Life is going on.”