Posted in music | pictures on December 16, 2010

words & photos by Benjamin Lozovsky

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Conor Oberst and crew might have co-opted the Monsters of Folk moniker, but they've only grown to their current size by standing on the shoulders of even larger mythical beings. Two more likely candidates for that title, Bert Jansch and Neil Young, graced the Bell House Wednesday night. The two didn't perform together, but the long-standing connection between the six-string English Scottish troubadour and the American Canadian highwayman was noticeably present through their music.

Young made the surprise guest appearance as part of his wife Pegi's backing band, the opening act, and kept to the shadows most of the night. Bathed in dark crimson light, he filled in his wife's rollicking, twangy sound with subdued yet accented guitar licks, that unmistakable gritty rhythm style, and on one occasion harmonica. Even in just a supporting role, his focus was impenetrable. When Neil Young raises his guitar neck and dons that irascible stare, it commands attention like a force of nature. Pegi finished off her set with a version of Neil outtake "Doghouse," graciously letting her man share the spotlight as he sang backup and finally splayed out a solo.

But the highlight of the show was Jansch; his complex acoustic ruminations sprang to life like a Celtic fable, and his vocals, softer with age, tranquilly voiced stories that were equally anguished and joyous. For the most part Jansch's newer work blended seamlessly with his old material as one singular vision. The wistful classic "Rosemary Lane" from his eponymous 1971 album never felt out of touch with more recent songs like "My Donald," from 2001's Crimson Moon. That song was about his departed friend, the "hardest man in Scotland" who was both a failed lumberjack and a real whaler. As he told the stories behind his numbers in between songs, he sounded like Michael Caine with a guitar; understated, satirical, and spotlessly adorable. One song he wrote after a series of gigs with maligned rock star Pete Doherty. With deadpan wit, he noted, "I don't think he's allowed in your country."

Bert and Pegi finish their rescueduled tour together Friday night in Pittsburgh, and then Bert returns for two shows at Iridium Jazz on Monday night.

More pictures from the Bell House show below...

--

Bert Jansch

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Pegi Young & Neil Young

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

---

      

Comments (28)

great pics! i give them 4/5 chick peas

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 2:55 PM

Jimmy Fallon really needs to find a new character. Geez! Now he's playing venues?

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 2:59 PM

dammit! I was hoping that Neil would have showed his face in Boston...he was probably just hanging in the tour bus parked outside

http://narlus.zenfolio.com/p625553964/e3d4c85ea

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 3:00 PM

old man look in my eyes

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 3:00 PM

Who?

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 3:01 PM

Holy fuck! That's Neil Young at the Bell House.

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 3:03 PM

yes it certainly is... pretty amazing.

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 3:07 PM

EPIC!

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 3:18 PM

neil young is from canada

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 3:27 PM

holy hummus, he IS from canada

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 3:28 PM

The Jansch album is "Rosemary Lane", not 'Rosemary Hill'. He's lost nothing; has evolved with the music he has been playing for ~50+ years. A treasure.

Posted by donn | December 16, 2010 3:30 PM

Bert Jansch is Scottish. Call him English and he'll give you a Glasgow kiss

Posted by Howlin Blind Scotsman | December 16, 2010 4:27 PM

would

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 4:40 PM

old man

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 6:08 PM

none of us are getting any younger, that's for sure

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 7:41 PM

Not to dwell on this too much, but "the six-string English troubadour and the American highwayman" -- really Benjamin? Really BV?

Whats worse?....writers who dont do their homework or blogs that dont edit the material appearing on their sites? Or is it our fault for giving our attention to these types of intellectually-degrading, watered-down "cultural-journalism?"

Anyway....great show. Bert stole my heart.

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 7:45 PM

I work at Bell House and I have to say- this show sucked. I love Neil Young, but it was a major disappointment.

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 7:58 PM

FART HARD.

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 8:00 PM

They didn't play 1 song from On the Beach. What a jip!

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 8:04 PM

Also.. it's Conor. Not Conner. And Neil Young is very Canadian. Lazy!

Posted by Anonymous | December 16, 2010 8:18 PM

this writer is ridiculous!! neil young... despite the novelty of neil young as part of a backing band in a small venue like the bell house, being damn epic... bert was just... wow.. magical.. BERT JANSCH!!! WOW...

Posted by Anonymous | December 17, 2010 12:10 AM

all ya fcks can suck it. who cares if it's Conor/Conner? the writing is fun and interesting. go complain about wikileaks or somethin

Posted by Anonymous | December 17, 2010 8:09 AM

Last I heard, Canada is part of the Americas...

Posted by KeyWestReactor | December 17, 2010 8:53 AM

Nice fat.

Nice age.

Neil Young = Spagett

Cigarette.

Cigarette juice.

Posted by Anonymous | December 17, 2010 9:06 AM

hahahahahaha! neil shoulda put more fat on his new album...anything to make it more interesting...

Obamacare...

Posted by Anonymous | December 17, 2010 9:12 AM

good neeeeeeeeeeeews CIGARETTE JUICE

Posted by Anonymous | December 17, 2010 9:31 AM

Can't believe this was over a year ago. RIP Bert. Hope your last show in New York City was a good one.

Posted by Ben | January 9, 2012 9:52 PM

Leave a Comment