A Minute With: Neil Young on his new album, film

Wed Jun 6, 2012 5:09am EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - At an age, 66, when many of his peers have either slowed down or retired from the spotlight, Neil Young is busier than ever.

On Tuesday, the iconic Canadian singer-songwriter and his longtime band Crazy Horse released a new album titled "Americana" with their particular take on classic folk songs. It is the first album from Young and the group in nearly nine years. Live shows follow in August.

Later this month, movie studio Sony Pictures Classics will release "Neil Young Journeys," a documentary about the singer directed by Oscar-winner Jonathan Demme which showcases the last two nights of Young's recent solo world tour.

And then there's his new book, "Waging Heavy Peace," which will be published in the fall. Young recently spoke to Reuters about the new album, film, book and upcoming live shows.

Q: What was the impetus for making "Americana"?

A: "Simple. I didn't have any of my own songs I wanted to do, and I was ready to play with Crazy Horse again."

Q: The album is a collection of classic American folk songs, from "Clementine" and "Oh Susannah" to "This Land Is Your Land." How did you go about choosing the material?

A: "(Laughs) My basic approach was, we just had to be able to play ‘em."   Continued...

Neil Young performs as a surprise guest musician at the Robin Hood Foundation Benefit at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center in New York May 14, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly