Pegi Young is preparing for the launch of her fifth album, aptly titled Raw. The collection will be available February 17th via Baltimore Thrush Records. In advance of the album’s release, the first single, “Too Little Too Late,” will have its worldwide premiere on RollingStone.com today. Pegi along with her band The Survivors plan to tour extensively kicking off Spring 2017.
Pegi Young’s compelling and personal new album Raw is a mix of original songs written with Spooner Oldham and artfully executed covers. The album gets right to the point with the opening cut “Why?” The track 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. “Writing [Raw] was very cathartic for me,” Young says. “What happened was real, but I also look at this record as having a universal quality to it. I’m certainly not the only one to go through a late-in-life divorce, and I’m not going to be the last..”
The songs aren’t all expressions of anger. The first track to be released from the album is Too Little Too Late, a raw and poetic psalm of regret, the truth-tellin’ Gave My Best to You and a rockin’ update on These Boots are Made for Walkin’ convey resilience and sass. A gorgeous, stripped-down version of Don Henley’s The Heart of the Matter explores the grace of forgiveness. As a whole, the album is a journey from shock, to rage, to sadness, to strength, but not necessarily in that order.
Young says, “I’ve begun to look at this record as a soundtrack to the seven stages of grief. We all have our inside voice and our outside voice and I chose to let more of my inside voice out on this record,” she says. “And each song could be sung by either party.”
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.
Excited about the prospect of sharing her new music and playing out live, the singer/songwriter/
philanthropist/ environmentalist and new Grandmother jokes “I just might be eligible to win a nomination for ‘Oldest Best New Artist Award’ this time out.”
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