Blitzen Trapper – Harvest

There’s already been at least one complete cover version of Neil Young’s Harvest album. In 2011, Mojo Music Magazine asked various artists to reprise the songs. They included such luminaries as Villagers, Phosphorescent, Doug Paisley, Smoke Fairies, and Sam Amidon. With that sort of line up, some of the versions were extraordinary. As a whole, though, it didn’t quite capture the ethos of the original. Now, Harvest has been covered from start to finish once again. This time, the great Blitzen Trapper have taken everything upon themselves. The result is a really cohesive and respectful set. Without simply copying the originals, they’ve been very true to the sound of the classic versions. And it works really well. And it would. After all, Blitzen Trapper are pretty much halfway there already with some of their songs. Paradoxically, though, perhaps the best moment is when they’re furthest away from the Neil Young version. On ‘A Man Needs A Maid’, they don’t try to repeat the full orchestral grandiosity of the original. Instead, they play it like the long-lost, laid-back cousin of ‘Out On The Weekend’. It sounds really great. Blitzen Trapper seem really committed to this project. They released a vinyl edition of the album for Record Store Day this year. They’ve also performed it live. In fact, NYC Taper has made a live version of their April 17 gig at City Winery available to download. The added bonus of this version is that you get to hear some other Blitzen Trapper wonders too, including ‘Black River Killer’ and a particular favourite, ‘Furr’. Well worth checking out.

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