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Beck Gives a New Shine to Old Man

Beck was recently announced as the 50th artist on the star-studded Bluesfest 2023 line-up.



Beck has just released a full-length performance video for his version of Neil Young’s 1972 classic, “Old Man”.

Beck’s cover – which has now been been nominated in the Best Rock Performance’category of the 65th Grammy Awards – was given a sneak preview back in September with a partial clip featured in an NBC Sports commercial in the lead up to a game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs. 

The song was part of a tribute to 45-year-old Tampa Bay player, Tom Brady, who became the oldest NFL quarterback to start a game.

Neil Young, apparently, was not happy that his song was used in the commercial, at the time posting a screenshot from his anti-corporate This Note’s For You video clip from 1988. 

The dig was likely more towards the British investment company Hipgnosis Songs Fund, to whom Young sold half his catalogue to in 2021, than Beck himself. 

Beck has previously cited Young as a big influence on his 2013 album, Morning Phase, and the pair have performed together numerous times over the years, with Beck posting a photo of the two together in celebration of Young’s 75th birthday in November 2020. 

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As for the version itself, Rolling Stone gave high praise: “Delightful… Beck goes the faithful-to-the-original route, using just his acoustic guitar and adding his own personal touch by layering his vocals into big, rich harmonies during the chorus.”

Beck recently opened – with a full band – for the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their US stadium tour this year, but the video for “Old Man” is more of an indication of the acoustic show he will perform at Bluesfest this coming April. 

Beck’s acoustic set at this year’s South By Southwest was described by the Austin Chronicle as “two hours of Beck in a way we’d never seen him before… the Californian’s voice sounded incredible throughout the show.”

Bluesfest takes place at Byron Events Farm from Thursday, April 6th, to Monday, April 10th. Tickets on sale now from www.bluesfest.com.au.