Neil Young’s older brother Bob debuts first song, “Hey America,” featuring Neil on harmonica, backing vocals

At the age of 78, Neil Young‘s older brother Bob is following in his famous sibling’s footsteps. Bob has just released his debut song, a shambling, politically minded folk anthem titled “Hey America,” which he recorded with his band Young Bob and the Peterboroughs and features Neil on harmonica and backing vocals.

“I didn’t set out to become a songwriter and singer at 78 years of age,” Bob explains. “It was and is an organic event. I was watching Donald Trump on TV a couple years ago and wrote down a few lines. When I got home, I found I could play those lines on guitar. Gradually, it became what it is now.”

He adds, “It took a while to be able to play and sing the song from start to finish. When I could finally accomplish that, it was a victory.”

A companion video for the song has premiered at Neil’s official YouTube channel. It features Bob singing and playing acoustic, accompanied by his band on banjo, fiddle, drums and bass. Later on, Neil appears alone in segments playing harmonica, and in another scene where he, fiddle player Melissa Payne and banjo player Travis Good — who’s also a member of the popular Canadian band The Sadies — appear together singing harmonies.

The video was directed by CK Vollick, a cinematographer who has worked on a number of Neil’s film projects, with help from Young and wife Daryl Hannah.

Regarding his late foray into music making, Bob says, “All you aging baby boomers out there, give it a shot. As Yogi Berra put it, ‘It ain’t over ’til it’s over, and even then it ain’t over.’ I agree. I have more songs, all from the same creative spark.”

By Matt Friedlander
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