Neil Young and Daryl Hannah are a great team. They previously collaborated on 2018's Paradise, an atmospheric film featuring Western landscapes and the guitarist jamming with Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, directed by Hannah.
For Barn, Young assembles his old Crazy Horse band. They perform all the songs from the new album in a log cabin/studio on the Colorado range. A tipi and a totem pole sit nearby.
Young appears to be channeling the '60s and '70s with his reedy alto, slashing guitar and harmonica fills. It's all very loose.
Neil Young: "The smoke that I burn keeps taking me to the old days."
"Out on the range I see the change coming in this country," he sings on the pointed "Canerican." "I am Canerican, Canerican is what I am... I am all colors, all colors is what I am/ Stand beside my brothers for freedom in this land."
Born in Canada, Young fought long and hard to become an American citizen. The U.S. finally relented in 2020. Young believed his citizenship was held up due to "certain marijuana related activities."
Young has been embroiled in a controversy with Spotify over the Joe Rogen Experience podcast. Young's record company Warner Brothers removed his music from the music service.
Barn was filmed during a full moon. Some of the best footage is a birthday gathering for band members Nils Lofgren, Ralph Molina and Billy Talbot in the tipi and casual studio conversations.
Early on, Young lights a joint. "I'll smoke as little bit and then I'll be able to see," he says in his best Willie Nelson impression. On the languid "They Might Be Lost," Young warbles, "It's way past 4:20 and I'm sitting here waiting for the boys to come and get the goods... The smoke that I burn keeps taking me to the old days."
This sense of nostalgia runs deep in Barn with a final nod to the old days and a few bars of "Roll Another Number (for the Road)."