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Sugar Mountain Live at Canterbury House 1968 – Neil Young

By Chris Peken

With 10 disk’s promised in the near mythical Neil Young Archive Set, the third release is actually labelled disk 00 – so make of that what you will. Chronologically this is likely to be the first disk, capturing a performance live at Canterbury House in 1968. This is almost solo Young in embryonic state, documenting not only his music but the in-between song banter (or raps as they are labelled) covering everything from his short time working in a bookstore to jokes about being a blues band. This is history. A man on the verge, intimate and bare, his tremulous voice still at the beginning of a career he could not possibly have imagined at the time. With half a dozen Buffalo Springfield tunes in there for good measure – there is a nod to the past as well as a glimpse at such a future. The album takes its title, Sugar Mountain, from the song Young wrote about the end of childhood whilst still in his teens himself. This fresh 23-year-old’s rendition brings new meaning to a song listened to with old ears.