Jesse Colin Young Gets it Together on New Acoustic Solo Album

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Veteran folkie Jesse Colin Young appears to be in a nostalgic mood on the new Highway Troubadour, a solo acoustic set that devotes five of its 11 tracks to reinventions of some of the strongest material from his old band, the Youngbloods.

Related: The story behind the Youngbloods’ big hit “Get Together”

The album features “Four in the Morning” from that group’s eponymous 1967 debut; “Sugar Babe” and “Euphoria” from the same year’s Earth Music; and “Darkness, Darkness” and “Quicksand” from 1969’s Elephant Mountain.

Other reimagined material on the program includes “Song for Juli,” which Young wrote and first recorded back in the early 1970s for his then 4-year-old daughter; and “Ridgetop,” a number from the same period that was inspired by the singer’s move from New York City to the San Francisco area.

There are also several relatively recent tracks that he coauthored with his wife, Connie, among them “Cast a Stone,” which addresses the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Related: Jesse Colin Young talks about the Youngbloods and more in this exclusive BCB interview

The recent material is excellent, but longtime fans will likely be most interested in the re-recordings, which are generally darker and more blues-inflected than the originals. Some may miss the fuller instrumentation on the Youngbloods’ LPs, but all of the stripped-down new renditions are just as good or better, thanks to inventive arrangements and Young’s arresting vocal work.

Listen to “Sugar Babe” from Highway Troubadour

Young turned 79 on November 22, 2020.

Read about the other top new releases of 2020 by classic rock artists here.

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