Americana Highways is hosting this video premiere of Rachael Sage’s version of Neil Young’s song “Ohio.” The video is set to commemorate the event which took place at Kent State University on May 4th, 1970.
This song is Rachael Sage on piano and vocals; Andy Mac on drums and percussion; Doug Yowell on drums and percussion; Mikhail Pivovarov on bass; James Mastro on electric guitar; Ward Williams on cello; Kelly Halloran on violin; and Rob Curto on organ.
The video was directed by Michael Flanagan; produced and edited by Nick Clark with camera assistant Samuel Hartson. Covers are often faithful duplicates of the original recording by the artist, but that is not the case here. If you are familiar with Rachael Sage, you’ll have an idea of the way in which she has taken this flagship song and made it her own, keeping the original depth of Neil Young’s intention while offering something fresh and newly poignant. It’s painful in a talented, powerful, cathartic way. Watching Sage perform the song on piano in this video adds to the sensational experience of the song.
Neil Young has always been among my favorite songwriters. For me, he epitomizes empathy and social consciousness through art and it was an honor a few years ago to record a version of his song ‘Helpless’ with the great Judy Collins. I’ve had this video – recorded live from Carriage House Studios – in the ‘vault’ for a while, but with everything going on in the Ukraine and the horrors of war and gun violence in America abounding, it felt like an apt time to share it. At its essence the song to me represents compassion and not turning a blind eye to suffering – something that can happen all too easily. We must never become numb to terror and violence, whatever the source. I’m grateful Neil Young continues to be a beacon reminding of that ongoing. — Rachael Sage
Enjoy the song, here: