Young is a Farm Aid board member and has previously performed at each installment of the event. “I find myself wondering whether Farmaid will be safe for everyone with the Covid pandemic surging. I worry about that,” Neil wrote in a post on NeilYoungArchives.com detailing his decision. “I don’t want to let anybody down, but still can’t shake the feeling that it might not be safe for everyone. I worry about audiences coming together in these times.”
“All you people who can’t go to a concert because you still don’t feel safe, I stand with you,” Young added. “I don’t want you to see me playing and think it’s safe now. I don’t want to play until you feel safe, and it is indeed, safe. My soul tells me it would be wrong to risk having anyone die because they wanted to hear music and be with friends.”
The sold-out concert will proceed with Neil’s fellow Board members — Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Margo Price — among those on the lineup. “While I respect Willie, John and Dave’s decisions to stick with it and play, I am not of the same mind,” Young noted. “It is a tough call.”
In other Neil Young news, audio of “Cowgirl In The Sand” from the forthcoming Carnegie Hall 1970 live album has been shared. Carnegie Hall 1970 is the first installment in the Neil Young Archives Bootleg series. A description of the series reads, “Over Neil Young’s long and storied career, a few special shows have earned an almost mythic reputation, thanks to the dubious but nevertheless appreciated (in retrospect) practice of bootlegging.” Carnegie Hall 1970 arrives via Shakey Pictures Records / Reprise Records on October 1.
“Cowgirl In The Sand” was recorded on December 4, 1970 at the first of two Neil Young solo shows at the historic New York City venue. The song was first released the previous year on Young’s sophomore studio album, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. Carnegie Hall 1970 features 23 tracks including such classics as “Cinnamon Girl,” “Down By The River,” “Helpless,” “Don’t Let It Bring You Down” and “Ohio.” The set is available for pre-order on CD and vinyl.
Stream “Cowgirl In The Sand” from Carnegie Hall 1970 below: