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Neil Young Releases Video for ‘Oh Susannah’ From Upcoming ‘Americana’ Album

Neil Young
Larry Busacca, Getty Images

The just released video for Neil Young‘s version of the American folk song ‘Oh Susannah’ is hardly an explosion of special effects, staging and production. Instead the rock legend used clips of a recession-era family gathered around the banjo to tell the song’s story in a way that’s much darker than the version one remembers from childhood.

The family is a slightly more sophisticated version of the Darlings from ‘The Andy Griffith Show.’ The group sits around looking glum as dad picks away on the banjo. It’s not clear what song he’s singing, but no attempt is made to convince viewers the video is anything more than archival footage. ‘Americana‘ is in stores on June 5 and will feature traditional American folk songs performed with Young’s long-running Crazy Horse backing band.

A little boy dances in front of his family in the video, but seems to be getting no joy from doing so. It’s a bit of a surprise when he fires up a cigarette, but soon he’s back to his jig. The folksy but melancholy video contrasts the bluesy rock version of this campfire song. It works in a way so much of Young’s career has worked. The video is a bit left of center, but artistically warranted.

Watch the Video for Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s ‘Oh Susannah’

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