This week’s featured artist is Neil Young, who tomorrow celebrates his 75th birthday! Born November 12th 1945, he is a Canadian born singer-songwriter, musician, and activist, best known for his solo work. After embarking on a music career in the 1960s, he moved to Los Angeles, joining Buffalo Springfield with Stephen Stills, Richie Furay and others. Since his early solo albums and those with his backing band Crazy Horse, Young has been prolific, recording a steady stream of studio and live albums. 

His guitar work, deeply personal lyrics and signature tenor singing voice define his long career. He also plays piano and harmonica on many albums, which frequently combine folk, rock, country and other musical styles. His often distorted electric guitar playing, especially with Crazy Horse, earned him the nickname “Godfather of Grunge” and led to his 1995 album ‘Mirror Ball’ with Pearl Jam.  

His main guitar is a 1953 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop. Nicknamed “Old Black”, it got its name from an amateur paintjob applied to the originally gold body of the instrument, some time before Young acquired the guitar in the late 1960s. For acoustic guitars, he plays Martin dreadnoughts. 

Young has received several Grammy and Juno Awards. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has inducted him twice: in 1995 as a solo artist and in 1997 as a member of Buffalo Springfield. In 2000, Rolling Stone named Young the 34th greatest rock ‘n roll artist, and in 2003 listed Young as eighty-third in its ranking of “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” . His 21 albums and singles have been certified Gold and Platinum in U.S by RIAA certification.

Check below for a tab and live solo performance of his classic song Old Man from February 1971!

Has Neil Young inspired you as an artist? What are some of your favourite tracks of his? We have returned to in-home lessons as well as offering Video Conference Lessons if you want to learn about the ongoing history of music with a professional!

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