Pegi Young and the Survivors
October 2 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm CDT$25
Tickets: $25 (Call 251-367-4599 to reserve)
Pegi Young’s powerful new album, Raw, gets right to the point. Opening cut “Why” kicks off with Young’s impassioned alto, demanding, “Why’d you have to ruin my life? Why’d you have to be so mean?” Over the soulful Americana rock of her band the Survivors – led by legendary keyboardist/songwriter Spooner Oldham – Young taps into a surprisingly primal force.
There’s a reason for that. Young wrote most of Raw in the wake of her 2014 separation and divorce from Neil Young, to whom she’d been married thirty-six years. Over the decades, the pair had raised a family, made music together, and worked to support northern California’s Bridge School for severely disabled children. Pegi founded the Bridge School in 1986 after being unable to find the right kind of care for their son, Ben, who has cerebral palsy.
Young sees Raw as the soundtrack to the seven stages of grief. “It’s not a linear process,” she says. “You bounce back and forth. And each song could be sung by either party.” In addition to chronicling this new chapter of her life, Raw also reflects the music Young has been drawn to since growing up in northern California in the 1960s. “Yes, I remember dancing in the living room to Motown,” she says. “I’ve always loved harmonies, lyrics, and rhythm. I used to go to the Fillmore and the Avalon and Winterland.”
Raw features Oldham and several more recent Survivors, including Muscle Shoals-based guitarist Kelvin Holly, a veteran of Little Richard’s band; drummer Phil Jones; and the newest “Survivor” Shonna Tucker (Drive-By Truckers), who’ve added soulful muscle to the sonic texture. The group lost their original Bassist the renown Rick Rosas in 2014.
Of her five albums, Raw is the first on which Young is credited with production duties. Her M.O: “Be authentic, be true, sing what’s in your heart. It’s not about making it perfect, it’s about letting it be real, sometimes raw and flawed, as long as it’s true.” This also includes highlighting her band, the Survivors, whose camaraderie she credits with strengthening and inspiring her. That is most evident on unabashed rocker “You Won’t Take My Laugh Away From Me,” a defiant strut of hard-won confidence that ends with Young’s joyful laughter.
“My laugh has always been rather distinctive,” Young says. “It’s something I can hold on to that’s still mine.” As for the future, Young has started work on a memoir and making plans for a tour around Raw’s release. “I am a survivor,” she relates. “Although we named the band The Survivors after Ben Keith died, We didn’t have any idea some ten years ago, what an apt name it would turn out to be! I’ve gone through a lot of good stuff and scary stuff, and I will keep going forward.”
To learn more about Pegi Young & the Survivors, visit: http://www.pegiyoung.com