In this May 18, 2016 photo, Neil Young poses for a portrait in Calabasas, Calif., to promote his new album, \
In this May 18, 2016 photo, Neil Young poses for a portrait in Calabasas, Calif., to promote his new album, \"Earth.\" Available June 24, the album is a collection of 13 live songs interspersed with the sounds of crickets, frogs, crows, bees and other animals Young recorded in his backyard. The 70-year-old singer-songwriter said he didnt set out to make an album about the planet. The theme just emerged as he chose the best performances from his past year on tour. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP) Rich Fury

Neil Young brings The Monsanto Years to Bluesfest

ICONIC Canadian musician Neil Young and American rock band Promise of the Real will bring the eco-warrior power to Bluesfest 2017.

Neil Young and Promise of The Real have released two albums.

The first release, The Monsanto Years, is an ecologically / environmentally-focused album.

The second album is Earth, is a 2016 release that features live performances of songs from a range of Young's albums, including Ragged Glory and After the Gold Rush.

It is a new take on some of Young's most beloved songs and features live recordings, along with added musical overdubs, as well as sounds of the earth, such as city sounds like car horns, sounds of insects, and animal sounds from bears, birds, crickets, bees, horses, cows - creating a very strange, yet beautiful atmosphere.

In addition to recording and playing with Young, Promise of the Real have also performed with the likes of John Fogerty, Bob Weir, B.B. King, and Bob Dylan.

Promise of the Real are led by Lukas Nelson, who first picked up the guitar at age 11 to honour a promise he made to his father, legendary Country musician Willie Nelson and was able to teach himself the craft by playing along to classic Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix songs.

The Monsanto Years

The Monsanto Years is a concept album released in 2015, criticising agribusiness Monsanto.

It is Young's thirty-sixth studio album and the third by Promise of the Real.

The album had mixed reviews.

The Guardian's Jon Dennis gave it a 5/5 rating, praising the contribution of Promise of the Real.

Zach Schonfeld of The A. V. Club gave the album a C rating, saying that that the concept of the album and its execution were "underproduced, underwritten."

Billboard solicited the opinions of corporations criticised on the album.

A Monsanto representative said: "Many of us at Monsanto have been and are fans of Neil Young. Unfortunately, for some of us, his current album may fail to reflect our strong beliefs in what we do every day to help make agriculture more sustainable".

"We recognise there is a lot of misinformation about who we are and what we do - and unfortunately several of those myths seem to be captured in these lyrics."

An Associated Press review of the album argued that Young's criticisms of corporate greed descend into preachiness, saying Young's anger is "so real that it could be tasted, but there is something discomfiting about Young positioning himself as an all-knowing seer, putting people down for wanting simpler, cheerier songs."

Neil Young has been added to a line up that includes Patti Smith, Mary J Blige, Santana and more than 30 other global roots, blues and rock stars.

  • Bluesfest 2017 will be held at Tyagarah, Byron Bay, April 13 to 17. Playing schedule is now available on www.bluesfest.com.au.


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