I just got two new CDs that are simply outstanding. The first is Neil Young Live at Massey Hall (2007). If you have never been to a concert in the early 1970s this is how it was, only better. Young was obviously “at home” for this Canadian gig. I guarantee you will feel like you are there. The best song (and this is a tough one because the album should be listened to as if at a concert) is “A Man Needs a Maid,” in which Young brings some surprises.
Next, I am listening to Celtic Woman – A New Journey: Live at Slane Castle, Ireland (2007). It has all of the moving whistles, fiddles and big drums you would expect plus a musical professionalism that is unsurpassed. My favorite? “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” If you are over 40, see if you can listen and keep a dry eye. No, it’s not Judy Garland, but you will imagine you are that little fellow or gal, in your pajamas, watching the television classic (and an even better Frank Baum’s book [The University of Kansas edition is outstanding) unfold before you. Remember the monkeys? Yikes! But the song is much more than sentimentalism. Doing a song like this is hard because of the memories associated with a great performance. But these Celtic ladies take it to another level and do it a Capella. There is more. Greatly enjoyable.