Jun 302010

Tribute Throwback shines some light on an underexposed tribute album. Enter to win a copy!

A few years ago I was poking around a Chicago record store and came across an intriguing album: Headed for the Ditch: A Michigan Tribute to Neil Young. I thought I knew all Neil Young cover collections, but this one I’d never heard of. I only knew one band on there, but the packaging looked nice and the price was right, so I picked it up. It worked out better than most impulse purchases I’ve made (incidentally, anyone want a lava lamp nightlight?).

The album contains eleven new covers by Michigan artists, ranging from Edward’s beautiful slow-building “Birds” to the Hard Lessons’ seven-minute blast through “Hey, Hey, My, My.” The disc hit the right blend of acoustic and electric, faithful and exploratory. Plus how many Neil Young tributes include “We R in Control,” the song from Neil’s ill-fated electronic venture Trans?

Now before you run off to iTunes, I’ll save you some time: You won’t find it. The old-school purists at Lower Peninsula Records only release their stuff on vinyl. But boy do they do a fine job. The beautiful gatefold packaging features a stitched 16-page booklet with handwritten lyrics and drawings by every band on the album. It sounds great and comes in a coffee table-worthy package to boot.

Oh, and did I mention we have one to give away? [EDIT: This contest is now closed.]For your chance to win this rare vinyl, enter your name, email, and favorite Neil Young song in the comments below. Entries close in one week. Better yet, hedge your bets and order a copy too (mention Cover Me to get two bonus tracks). If you order it then end up winning the contest, you’ve got a head start on your Christmas shopping!

To whet your appetite, Cover Me is pleased to offer a few songs from the album. Again, this was only released on vinyl, but label head John Krohn was nice enough to pass some MP3s along.

Side A
1. Dave Lawson, “Lookin’ for a Love”
2. Gerudo, “When You Dance I Can Really Love”
3. Saturday Looks Good to Me, “See the Sky About to Rain”
4. The Casionauts, “Southern Man”
5. Ian Saylor, “Soldier”
6. New Grenada, “Barstool Blues”

Side B
1. Will Yates, “Tell Me Why”
2. The Drinking Problem, “Saddle up the Palomino”
3. Edward, “Birds”
4. The Rick Johnson Rock and Roll Machine, “We R in Control”
5. The Hard Lessons, “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)”

Enter to win a copy of Headed for the Ditch: A Michigan Tribute to Neil Young on vinyl below [EDIT: This contest is now closed]. And/or order a copy here. When you do, mention Cover Me to get two bonus tracks: Kevin McGorey covering “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” and Blood Wings covering “Alabama.”

Cover Me is now on Patreon! If you love cover songs, we hope you will consider supporting us there with a small monthly subscription. There are a bunch of exclusive perks only for patrons: playlists, newsletters, downloads, discussions, polls - hell, tell us what song you would like to hear covered and we will make it happen. Learn more at Patreon.

  43 Responses to “Tribute Throwback/Giveaway: Headed for the Ditch: A Michigan Tribute to Neil Young”

Comments (43)
  1. Tonight’s the Night. Can’t get more raw and emotional than that.

  2. Old Man! ooor Mother Earth. That song was fantastic when I saw him play it live.

  3. southern pacific or cinnamon girl.

  4. Nice Find! I’m from Michigan and don’t know some of the bands – thanks for posting. Time foe me to get up to speed.
    Regards, Dave.

  5. Never been the hugest NY fan, though I could listen to Harvest forever. Still, my guilty pleasure has always been A Man Needs A Maid.

  6. Great versions, those two!
    My favourite track would be Cortez The Killer. Not one version of the many I’ve heard over the years, whether from Neil Young or others, sounds the same, but there’s always that unmistakable core of contempt, anger and frustration which combine to make it one of the truely great songs of rock history.

  7. “Ordinary People”.

  8. Unknown Legend. “I used to order just to watch her float across the floor…”

  9. Love most songs on Rust Never Sleeps/Chrome Dreams I. Actually love most of his stuff, even the shocking pinks, trans and reactor tunes. (Ain’t got no T-bone, got mashed potatoes!)
    At this exact moment my favorite: Thrasher

  10. I would totally dig this tribute. Great collection, unknown artists!

  11. Favorite song? I know it’s played out, but I still love Heart of Gold. It’s a summer driving song, when you are on a barren stretch of road…thanks Neil.

  12. favorite writing – Country Girl
    favorite jam – Down by the River

  13. Southern Man

    – absolutely…

  14. Cowgirl in the Sand – sometimes electric, sometimes acoustic.

    Any song though really – they’re all the same song anyway, does Neil not say?!

  15. No Hidden Path

  16. Can’t ever listen to On the Beach without slipping into a certain mood…Thanks for everything, Neil.

  17. Ambulance Blues

  18. Thee numero uno for me? “Rockin’ In The Free World”. Saw this song played in concert with Crazy Horse.

  19. Walk On. or maybe Mellow My Mind? or maybe Hitchhiker? Harvest? Expecting to Fly? Bandit? Thrasher? Powderfinger? Tonight’s the Night? Ambulance Blues? After the Goldrush? I Believe in You? Vampire Blues? All of them?

  20. Am I disqualified if I choose more than one favorite? If so, today it’s On the Beach.

  21. I’m from MICHIGAN….& you are making this very difficult…my FAVORITE song? Depends on my mood, I love so much of Neil’s songs, been a fan since the 70’s..YIKES!!
    over all hmmmm, I really hate to commit to one song!!!! but if that’s the rule for the contest…”Cowgirl in the Sand”
    but really, love so many more!!!!

    ***fingers crossed***
    thanks for the opportunity!!

  22. Tonights the Night followed by Tonights the Night part 2

  23. is this where you enter the contest?—the songs sounds good!

  24. fav neil young song—-“interstate”

  25. My favorite Neil Young song is Cortez the Killer!

  26. My favorite Neal Young song is and always will be Hey Hey My My. Might not be his best song, but it holds a very important place in my heart.

  27. “No More” from Freedom….but when it comes live music, it doesn’t get much better than the “No More” live version from S.N.L….same evening he did the historic Rockin in the Free World….live music is better, bumper stickers should be issued!

  28. winterlong

  29. Thrasher for some strange reason…

  30. I’d have to say ‘Down By The River’. So much emotion.

  31. Words(Archives/Journey Through the Past version)

  32. On The Way Home

  33. Words to Home Grown–Alabama How’s this Cover Me ?

  34. Union Man off of (hawks and doves) Michigan should dig that one!! Cover Me

  35. No Hidden Path, preferably live! Saw him do that twice last year!

  36. Last Trip To Tulsa/ After the Goldrush/ Stupid Girl/ Bite the Bullet/ New Mama

  37. favorite Neil Young song: Oh yea right…. like that’s gonna be easy. I guess as far as life messages it’s got to be – “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”

    hope all is well!

  38. Favorite song? I Believe In You, which I just saw him do in Mass.

  39. Sugar Mountain!

  40. “Sugar Mountain” – never get tired of hearing this – used to hear it all the time on the local juke box and cont. to lie listening to it.

  41. Hmmm really hard to say (most favorite) but you cant go wrong with down by the river or….cortez the killer sorry had to put @ least two songs. . just recently saw him here in houston txon may 4 and he just blew me away acoustic and electric…AWESOME

  42. Danger Bird

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>