Nowadays live recordings are easy to dismiss, and for good reason. Too often live concert recordings are premeditated and lacking in the spontaneity that ultimately draws us to see/hear live music. With Live at the Cellar Door there's a reminder of what that special connection is between artist and audience. The couple hundred people in attendance here are entirely captured and respectful of the performance, and it makes the recording all that more extraordinary. Early performances of classics like "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" and "After The Gold Rush" flourish in such an intimate environment.
Throughout the set Neil hops from guitar to piano, and for the first time ever sits down at the keys to perform "Cinnamon Girl". It's a must-hear moment and easily the highlight of the collection, followed by his stripped down version of "Down By the River". It's fascinating to think that the forethought to record these shows was there. And it's even more impressive that the quality of the recording is as pristine as it is.