COUNTRY GUITAR TECHNIQUE : GUITAR TECHNIQUE
Country guitar technique : Tenor saxophone stand : Weber gallatin mandolin
Country Guitar Technique
You wouldn't hold out much hope of enjoyment if stuck watching a bunch of aged country-rockers on a $10 DVD out of the bargain bin! None of them under 50, playing straight on-stage sets, often with little facial animation while wielding an overdose of battered guitars -- including an - ug - slide guitar -- for over an hour and a half, filmed in an extremely conservative and unexciting way in front of the most basic of all-country sets, would you? Absolutely my definition of wrist-slitting material.
The description from IMDB doesn't make it seem any better -- "A film shot over during a two-night performance by Neil Young at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium" .
But we'd all be wrong. Neil Young: Heart of Gold is a captivating treasure. Heartfelt, low key top quality music beautifully filmed by a master. I had no preconceptions other than that I'd picked it up in that bargain bin a few days before. I put it on just before shutting down to go to bed last night -- to confirm my fears based on previous bargain purchases. Sitting on the edge of the lounge, skipped through the intro discussions (it's a documentary film, not just a concert), got to the first on-stage track ... and didn't move again until it finished. Of course, being the right age, I knew Neil Young's music, but had no idea of the circumstances of this film or the qualities that director Jonathan Demme brought to the making of it. Demme is a master (did I say that already?). The visual compositions, colours and viewpoints were gorgeous and often very close. His attention span is more than 0.9 of a second so you actually managed to see the performers and were spared the ADHD-like whirling cameras that characterise most concert footage, apparently in an attempt to create a false feeling of quality and immediacy and/or to make up for poor lighting and lousy technique and that just becomes irritating after a short while not to mention boring and predictable in a random kind of way if you know what I mean and get my point which is that I don't really like that kind of thing at least for more than a minute or so and I wish concert filmers would get over it.
In this, the camera was always in the right place, the lighting was superb for such difficult circumstances and you just felt ... comfortable. And then ... rapt. The audio was outstanding, I really don't know how they achieved such quality in a concert environment.
Although I knew nothing of the circumstances in which this (actually these two) concerts were filmed, there was an overwhelming sense of poignancy (thanks for the word Suzie, that's the one I was looking for) -- a kind of positive introspection, one man's life journey, personal history, friendship and family, experiences and maturation ... reflection and assessment, all that stuff. I discovered later that the performances were bracketed by Young's health drama including brain surgery a couple of days later (successful). This real-life dramatic backdrop shows in the film in a positive and understated way, partly explaining the perfection, complicity and underlying emotion of it. He was with his friends (and wife), something that was not obvious at first other than a deduction you could make from the appalling clothes and general lack of glam on stage. Who would invite such people to play with you unless you loved'em and they loved you, and they could play and sing? I'm highly allergic to the raging schmaltz of many similar US productions but somehow this escaped, probably due to the low-keyness.
Emmylou Harris was there too.
A magic discovery and a wonderful film. It becomes my first entrant into new set for quality things, things that work and should be appreciated and encouraged.
Daimon as a Bumpkin
Playing my awesome guitar, trying to convince me that he invented the hammer-on technique. Paul Tonks ended up going out in that hat.
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