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Neil Young and Crazy Horse Announce First New Album in Seven Years

Neil Young Le Noise

Neil Young has revealed that he will be heading back to the studio with longtime collaborators Crazy Horse to record their first new release since 2012’s Psychedelic Pill. The “Heart of Gold” performer casually dropped the news on his Neil Young Archives website in response to a fan who asked about new material.

“Crazy Horse is about to enter the studio with 11 new ones,” replied Young late last week. Two days ago he further confirmed the news posting a statement that reads, “At least 11 new songs, all written recently are going to be recorded starting this week…We sincerely hope [fans] enjoy our new music when it is released this year, because we know we will enjoy making it.”

Last May the legendary Canadian musician reunited with Crazy Horse for their first performance together in four years, playing a series of low-profile shows in California to celebrate the release of the Roxy album. This run of concerts also marked the first time that the group had performed without Frank “Poncho” Sampedro since he joined in 1975.

“I’m 70 and I’m retired now and want to stay home,” Sampedro recently told the magazine Uncut.“People say, ‘Isn’t it sad you’re not in Crazy Horse?’ I don’t think of it that way. I’ll always be in Crazy Horse. I’m as big a part of Crazy Horse as anyone that’s ever been in it.”

However, Sampedro’s retirement does leave hole that needs to be filled and according to Young’s recent post, Nils Lofgren will, once again, be stepping in.

The E Street Band guitarist filled in for Sampedro for the shows last year when, according to a recent interview with Rolling Stone, he received a rather harried phone call from Young one Saturday in April. “He said, ‘Look, we have these five Crazy Horse theaters shows booked in California to commemorate the release of the Roxy album,’” Lofgren said. “[Crazy Horse guitarist] Poncho [Sampedro] can’t make it. Instead of canceling the shows, we’re wondering if you can walk in pretty much without any rehearsal and wing it with us?’”

Lofgren of course has a history of the band and Young refers to him as “an original member of the Horse” in the recent Neil Young Archives post. The guitarist got his first big break at the age of 19 when Young asked him to play on After the Gold Rush (1970). He then recorded the self-titled album with Crazy Horse in 1971 – sans Young. And two years later joined the Crazy Horse rhythm section of Ralph Molina and Billy Talbot on Young’s album Tonight’s The Night and the supporting tour.

No news yet on a title or release date for the new album.

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