Neil Young releases previously unseen Cowgirl In The Sand performance from 1971

It offers a rare glimpse of Young’s pre-Harvest era.

Neil Young Onstage

Photo: Jo Hale / Redferns

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Neil Young has shared a never-before-seen performance of Cowgirl In The Sand, a song off his 1969 album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.

The performance took place at the Shakespeare Theater in Stratford, Connecticut on 21 January 1971 and can be viewed on Young’s archive website.

Providing some context to the performance, Young wrote on his website, “At the time of this performance, Cowgirl In The Sand was a year or so old and I had just finished After The Gold Rush […] Harvest was the next album we made and I stopped on this tour to record some of the first songs, Old Man and Heart Of Gold, for Harvest in Nashville.”

The performance happened just three days after Young’s acclaimed homecoming show at Massey Hall in Toronto, Ontario. “I [recently] found that I liked the Stratford show even better than Massey Hall, even though Massey Hall was the emotional high point of my life,” he told Rolling Stone.

Due to COVID-19, Young’s plans to tour with Crazy Horse through “the old arenas” from their careers have come to a halt. In lieu of touring, the singer-songwriter has posted on his website several ‘at-home’ performances – all part a series he calls Fireside Sessions.

Young isn’t the only musician who’s unearthed live rarities during this period of self-isolation. Recently, Radiohead announced that they’ll be uploading concert footage from their archives until “restrictions from [the] current situation are eased” or they run out of shows altogether.

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