Crazy Horse’s Billy Talbot Revisited His Work With Neil Young — Then and Now

They've been making music together for decades

Neil Young and Crazy Horse
Frank Sampedro, Neil Young and Billy Talbot perform on stage at Metro Radio Arena on June 10, 2013 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Tommy Jackson/Redferns via Getty Images

While he remains cautious when it comes to touring, Neil Young has remained busy when it comes to recording new material and revisiting his archives. The latest example of this? World Record, Young’s new album with his longtime band Crazy Horse. At Pitchfork, Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that “there’s a bittersweet undercurrent flowing through the album but the weathered humanity of Crazy Horse always pulls the music away from melancholy.” Which certainly sounds promising.

In a wide-ranging interview with Aquarium Drunkard, Crazy Horse’s bassist Billy Talbot looked back on his early days of working with Young — and described how their musical relationship has deepened over the years.

Talbot discussed Danny & the Memories, the vocal group in which several Crazy Horse members played before Crazy Horse. “To this day, we still love doing harmony. And so does Neil!” Talbot said. “As it turned out when we got together with him, he loved doing harmony parts. We always liked that. We came from that place.”

Later in the conversation, Talbot discussed their early meetings with Young. “Pretty soon, we played some music together, all of us in the living room. Just acoustic at the start,” he recalled. “One thing led to another and before you know it, we’re recording Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.”

Theirs is an extraordinarily long-lived collaboration. And if you’re seeking more music from this group of musicians, Talbot also shared details about the upcoming album from The Billy Talbot Band. “It’s going to have Nils [Lofgren], Ralph [Molina] and I contributing three songs each,” Talbot told Aquarium Drunkard. “We recorded separately during this pandemic, but we’re bringing them together.”

Also contributing a song to the album? A bandmate of theirs named Neil Young. The album, titled All Roads Lead Home, will “hopefully be out in March on the Neil Young Archives,” said Talbot.

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