THE ORGANIC FARMERS SEASONS (UNPLUGGED LIVE)
Today, The Inspector Cluzo release the unplugged version of their song “Ideologies.” The song was recorded live in front of a sold-out audience in Bordeaux, France at Karakatoa (one of TIC’s favorite venues). Grateful Web
exclusively premiered the track earlier this week.
This release follows the release of TIC’s take on Neil Young’s “Hey Hey My My” earlier this year. American Songwriter
praised their take on the classic tune saying, “their rendition of Young’s song has satisfying sonic depth, with thickly toned layered rhythm guitar, crisply splashing cymbals, whip-cracked snare hits, and a touch of tonal color provided by a keys line played on backing organ. The performance is definitely full of the kind of classic heartland rock energy any Neil Young fan would flock to immediately.”
The two tracks are part of a forthcoming album titled The Organic Farmers Seasons, a four-song EP journey through the seasons. TIC are especially attuned to the seasons, as they are organic farmers in Southwrest France at their farm Lou Casse Organic Gascon Farm.
The inspector Cluzo has also announced that they will host a small festival at their farm in France on September 5. Proceeds will help benefit youth farming initiatives through a fund the band created called Layudere, a term from the Gascon language that means “helping each other.” “The festivel will essentially be a Gascony Farm Aid held here at our farm Lou Casse. With our festival, we ultimately aim to help youth to come back to the soil” the band said.
Learn more about Lou Casse Organic Gascon Farm in the mini-documentary “Rockfarmers
On the 22nd June 1979, opening the album Rust Never Sleeps, a song was released by Neil Young and his Crazy Horse that history would turn into an anthem. My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue) contains all the urgency of punk, shaking the establishment at the time, but done in acoustic peacefulness. It offers us words which tell, like stories for children frightened by the dark, of the necessity and the immortality of rock’n’roll. Phrases like the stupefying “it’s better to burn out than fade away”, can be taken into the hearts of the up risen or the downtrodden, a fist raised in the air or a head bowed in defeat. For Kurt Cobain, it would be his lowest moment: he writes this cursed phrase in his farewell letter. “The king is dead but is not forgotten” says the song. The album finishes, with the same song, which in the meantime becomes electrified, even electrocuted as Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black). The storm is impressive: grunge, ten years later will still bear the burn marks of this arson and wild dissonance.
Between acoustic and electric, Neil Young’s album was mostly written on the road, the two versions of Hey Hey My My tested against two different backdrops: the campfire and the raging inferno. Neil Young and his horsemen of the apocalypse had the genius to not choose between the two. The tour, therefore, logically, started with Los Angeles and San Francisco, in fertile South-West America.
Over forty years later, in another South West, the song is played again, increasingly battered and worn over time by the love of many, this song which will never die. This South West, whose GASCONY corner is sometimes known as The Little California, is bordered by Bordeaux (Krakatoa), Biarritz (Theatre du Casino) and Mont-de-Marsan (Theatre de Gascogne). These venues hosted in early 2020, a passionate public, acoustic instruments, good vibrations and a mobile recording studio, all of which were necessary to make the live record, which you hold in your hands today, alive and kicking. Every evening, Inspector Cluzo takes up the torch of Hey Hey My My. An anthem which must, because it is a duty, be passed from generation to generation. The flame which lights the two Gascons in this haunted version says a lot about their sharp conscientiousness of this duty to transmit. You don’t undertake to cover lightly a song whose creators devilishly left behind both a bucolic and a hypertense version: one side countryside, the other town. The Inspector Cluzo, since their beginnings, appear to be an acoustic group who found, in the grange of their farm, an amazing amp left there by the gods. A group loud by default. A group who doesn’t seek to choose between chaos and contemplation. If the Landais duo makes so much noise, it isn’t because they are hiding anything behind a smoke screen. Their songwriting is strong enough to display itself naked without any electric cover at all. The racket is the outlet for all the work in the fields, the daily battle for a healthier, fairer planet. Like Neil Young, The Inspector Cluzo is versatile, rich in its own freedom: they can both play with their amps turned up to 11 as well as acoustic songs, which are sufficiently personal and robust to tolerate any form. We could expect, after this acoustic tour a grime, dubstep, symphonic or flametal version! Because the music of The Inspector Cluzo, in its blinding simplicity remains blues music, at its source – the rest is only embellishment.
Neil Young, of course, has similar roots: his, a ranch in Broken Arrow, theirs, a farm called Lou Casse. Each are militant, activists, furious: men of the soil, citizens of the World. It’s a pleasure to hear die in the wool rock fans, well dressed, with immaculate hair, dismiss them, laugh at them: too muddy, too rustic. They shoot themselves in the foot – or even in the ears. This music doesn’t rust, doesn’t fade in the wash, doesn’t pretend, ignores the fake and the phoney. It cares little about expectation and convention: this first live album by The Inspector Cluzo, a group renowned for its energy and its concert’s heavy electricity bills is, of course, acoustic. This false calm is a real treasure: it provides the space for keyboards and sparing strings without any frugality, rich but never ostentatious, elegant but never, ever decorative; it allows Mathieu Jourdain to go less into battle with his drums, even managing to jangle a few bells here and there; it gives a new freedom to Laurent Lacrout’s voice, allowing loop the loops and dangerous flights without needing to fight a battle to the blood against electrical storms.
An unplugged album by a group known for having their fingers in the electric socket: the kid from Gascogne, whatever his battle against preconceptions or powerful corporate agricultural syndicates, remains rebellious, stubborn as their ram, Miguel who keeps an eye on the farm. Even if the two guys only do as they please, militant on behalf of their neighbourhood and the local traditions, they welcomes outsiders. To be adopted, its sufficient to know how to laugh and remember how to smile. No territorial pissing here, just a love of their long and deep roots. At Lou Casse, people come from all over the world, even England. With the Brits, Mathieu and Laurent restrain themselves from recounting multiple well documented sagas featuring ginger hair, rugby, multiple invasions and even music. This conversation can end epically and late in the night fuelled by Colette Remazeilles’ Armagnac. The music that moves them doesn’t come from Britain but from America. It’s a music rich in its unique tradition, a music that has travelled a long and arduous journey from Africa and the old continent, a music that became an infernal gumbo, a folklore without folklore. Two Americans, who don’t give their seal of approval lightly, have moulded the sound of this live and more or less unplugged album, The engineer/mixer/producer Vance Powell (Jack White, Seasick Steve, Raconteurs, Chris Stapleton, Clutch) & the mastering engineer Pete Lyman (Chris Stapleton, Tom Waits…..), two royalties in the world of warm and woody analogic, gave the best of themselves to the two Gascons. Motivated not by ambition, not by compassion: simply because these songs deserved this kind of unruly respect, this messed up elegance, this American instinct. For these acoustic songs to make so much noise, their discreet science of sound was critical. It allowed two Gascon boys to highjack the spirit of unplugged recordings and turn it into filtered mayhem, tamed but not domesticated. There is plenty to hear, within the gaps, in these versions.
On Hey Hey My My, The Inspector Cluzo’s version of which has been validated by the Broken Arrow ranch, Neil Young sings: “There’s more to the picture than meets the eye”. In this album, there’s also more than meets the ear.