15 great Americana/Country versions of Neil Young songs


Neil Young cowboy hat

15 great Americana/Country versions of Neil Young songs

Neil Young has always had one foot in the rock camp and one in the country camp, he is one of the true entrepreneurs of country-rock. He has released pure rock albums and equally pure country albums, he has toured with rock bands and he has toured with a country music ensemble.

“I was told that no matter what I did, country radio would not play me, mostly because of my songwriting. I’d put out things like ‘Southern Man’ and ‘Alabama so culturally, they drew the line.” “But while we were not accepted by country radio, we were accepted by country musicians, they all played ‘Southern Man’ with me. They didn’t care. It wasn’t about that.” – Neil Young to Rolling Stone Magazine

I have picked 15 examples of  how his songs sounds in a country/americana setting, it sounds right , it sounds natural!

Whitehorse – Winterlong:

Whitehorse covers Neil Young’s “Winterlong” as part of The Road To Massey Hall live album

Over the Rhine – Long May You Run (live 2009):

Simone Felice – Helpless (live 2011)

Filmed at Meeniyan Town Hall Melbourne, Australia with Jordie Lane (banjo) and Matt Green (guitar) by Tajette O’Halloran. I have experienced Simone Felice live as part of Duke and the king, it was magic!

Mumford & Sons – Dance Dance Dance (live 2010):

They came round to The Toad session house to record a live session before their sold out Queen’s Hall gig in March 2010.

Fish & Bird – Harvest Moon (live 2012):

Fish & Bird playing Harvest Moon in the props department at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company’s production centre

Carrie Rodriguez & Tim Easton ~ Cortez The Killer:

From the album “Like a Hurricane: A Tribute to Neil Young”, I could only find an audio only version of this one, but I love it so I just had to include it here. This is my all time favorite Neil Young song.

Devotchka – Only Love Can Break Your heart (2011):

Sid and Susie (aka Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs) – Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (2011):

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings – Pocahontas (live 2009):

They’re so good it hurts!

Norah Jones – Tell me why (live 2012): From a Neil Young tribute show

James Vincent McMorrow – After The Gold Rush (audio only) Beautiful cover, tender and intense!

Bottle Rockets with Jeff Tweedy – Walk on:

The Bottle Rockets w/ Jeff Tweedy @ Schuba’s, Chicago, IL. January 2006 A beautiful Neil Young cover!

Now let’s hear some old classic versions: Emmylou Harris – Wrecking ball:

Waylon Jennings – Are you ready for the country:

Johnny Cash – Heart of gold (audio):

– Hallgeir

3 thoughts on “15 great Americana/Country versions of Neil Young songs”

  1. Very nice. Thank you. Especially love the Verizon’s of Walk On and After the Goldrush. And man, when Nora Jones, wearing that dress, sings “tell me lies later, come and see me, I’ll be around for a while, I am lonely, but you can free me, all in the way that you smile,” I just about fall over.

    1. Thanks for your comments and, yes, Norah Jones is an exiting artist, your praise is very understandable.


      – Hallgeir

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