By Karen Bliss
Rufus Wainwright recently included Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” in his set for his 50th birthday celebration on July 13 at Long Island’s Montauk Point Lighthouse. He turned 50 on July 22.
Dubbed “Fifty Isn’t the End”, the son of Loudon Wainwright III (who joined him at the star-studded “& friends” concert) and the late Kate McGarrigle performed a beautiful, faithful rendition of the 1992 classic, alongside Chris Stills, son of Stephen, the “S” in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, on guitar and vocals.
Young, who was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) in 2017, had a No. 1 hit in 1971 with his Harvest album, and then invited many of the same musicians who played on it to appear on the album Harvest Moon. The title track was a love song to his then-wife Pegi (whom he divorced in 2014; she died in 2019). Linda Ronstadt is on backing vocals.
“Come a little bit closer / Hear what I have to say / Just like children sleepin’ / We could dream this night away,” Young sings. “But there’s a full moon risin’ / Let’s go dancin’ in the light /We know where the music’s playin’ / Let’s go out and feel the night / Because I’m still in love with you / I want to see you dance again / Because I’m still in love with you / On this harvest moon…” The two dance in the music video for the song.
Montauk isn’t the first time Wainwright has performed “Harvest Moon”, he also recorded 1971’s “Harvest” with Stills and Andrew Bird for his latest album, Folkocracy.