In Praise of Powderfinger, Neil Young's Best Song
|Rust Never Sleeps: Neil Young live. Courtesy Getty Images|
"Powderfinger" can be heard in two formats: first, there's the revved up electric version that Young cut with his band Crazy Horse. Of course, Young's got the heart-wrenching acoustic version in his back pocket as well. Both can be heard below.
Most impressive of all is Young's ability to communicate, deeply, the tragedy of an early death on a river town. While the song is filled with specifics, it manages to be general enough- and finds it place in the Vietnam War or perhaps the American Civil War in equal parts. There's really no tellin'. One thing, however, is for sure: Young's aching vocals expertly paired with chord changes, here, convey emotion that is resonates across time, space, and human hearts, rendering "Powderfinger" as one of his best moments.