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Neil Young - Sugar Mountain – Live At Canterbury House, 1968 - Reprise

Just a few days before the release of his self-titled, debut solo album Neil Young performed two nights at the Canterbury House in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The highlights of those two evenings (November 9th & 10th) nearly 40 years ago are soon to be uncovered as the third release in the continuing Archives Performance Series. Interestingly, Sugar Mountain – Live At Canterbury House, 1968 will be labeled as the first volume (Volume 00) with volumes 2 & 3 already available.

Similar to the archive release Live At Massey Hall, Sugar Mountain presents Neil in a very intimate solo setting. But the timing of this record is much different. Being that this show took place just days before his first solo album; the set list relies heavy on songs from his Buffalo Springfield days including solo performances of "Mr. Soul", "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing", and "Broken Arrow" among others.

Sugar Mountain, like the other archive releases, will energize the Young faithful. The start/stop attempt at "Winterlong" (not yet completed at the time) is a nice treat, the rambling between songs is quite endearing and the title-track will have the extreme fans recall Decade, where the first song from this show actually surfaced.

The Canterbury House, which has been hosting live music for over 50 years, was an early forum for some legendary acts including Young, Richie Havens, and Joni Mitchell. Sugar Mountain reminds us how important these voices were.

Written by Mike Vasilikos

Featured Album of the Week December 1 and CD of the Month January 2009