Comes a Time for Neil Young’s Homegrown

Originally recorded in 1974 and ’75, and described by the man himself as “the unheard bridge between Harvest and Comes a Time,” Neil Young’s album Homegrown went unreleased, unheard by the public, stored away in the vaults. Written after his breakup with actress Carrie Snodgrass, Homegrown is “the sad side of a love affair,” said Young in a posting on his Archives website. “The damage done. The heartache. I just couldn’t listen to it.”

Although some of the songs from it would surface on later Neil Young albums, the completed “lost” album itself, in its original intended form, will finally be issued on June 19 via Reprise Records. “It’s actually beautiful,” Young continued in the Archives posting. “That’s why I made it in the first place. Sometimes life hurts. You know what I mean. This is the one that got away.”

The album consists of 12 songs, seven of which are previously unreleased in any form. Of the remainder, “Love Is a Rose,” “Little Wing,” “Homegrown,” “Star of Bethlehem” and “White Line” appeared in redone versions on other albums, but are heard here as originally recorded. Neil plays solo on some tracks, and is joined on others by friends including Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Emmylou Harris and frequent Young collaborators Ben Keith (pedal steel) and Tim Drummond (bass).

In the meantime/downtime, Neil’s done four intimate, acoustic, highly recommended “Fireside Sessions” livestreams, during which he’s been strolling through a freewheeling, wide-ranging journey through his past. With his wife Daryl Hannah behind the camera, the sessions are available for free on the Neil Young Archives website, with the promise of more to come, at least until actual concerts are re-legalized by our benevolent rulers.