Don’t Be Denied: A Tribute to Neil Young’s “Ditch Trilogy”

A portion of the proceeds will go to Chooper's Foundation and Grace Street Services for support services and awareness for opioid addiction.

Neil Young said of the overwhelming success of the single “Heart of Gold” from 1972’s Harvest: “This song put me in the middle of the road. Traveling there soon became a bore, so I headed for the ditch. A rougher ride but I saw more interesting people there.” The music and albums that followed Harvest established Neil as a willfully erratic artist not interested in following a safer formula of past success but rather focused on the purity of personal expression and the raw power of music.

After an experimental film and soundtrack, Journey Through the Past (1972), three albums were released that are commonly referred to as the “Ditch Trilogy”: Time Fades Away (1973), On the Beach (1974) and Tonight’s the Night (1975). While all three of these records have an astonishing breadth and depth of material as well as an uneven, roughhewn beauty and wry humor - a darker underlying theme that runs through all of them is Neil’s loss of two close musician friends from overdoses in 1973. Given this connection and the very real and continuing rise of the opioid epidemic in Maine and elsewhere, Seth Warner and One Longfellow Square are partnering with Chooper's Foundation and Grace Street Services of Portland, Lewiston & Sanford, Maine, to raise awareness, support and funds to help turn the tide of this epidemic that is just as challenging and destructive to individuals, families and communities and artists as it was back in 1973.

Seth and Portsmouth, New Hampshire based musician Marc McElroy will start the evening with a set of acoustic based arrangements of songs from Time Fades Away and On the Beach. Marc is a seasoned and soulful singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist. He leads the band Elroy and operates the Electric Cave recording studio in Portsmouth. Seth and Marc started performing music together in the fall of 1990 at the University of Maine, and have collaborated, recorded and harmonized off and on, ever since. Following a set break, the full band will return to the stage and finish the evening with a complete performance of Tonight’s the Night. The band includes the guitarist Mike Derosier, bassist David Thibodeau, drummer Chris Marro. All three of these supremely talented and experienced musicians enjoy varied and successful careers as teachers and performers based in Southern and Central, Maine.

Seth Warner’s performances have been described as “ethereal” by the Portland Press Herald and has appeared on stages as diverse as The Boston Early Music Festival, WGBH radio, a cruise on the Rhine river in Germany and at Joe’s Pub in New York City. Most recently Seth has been touring his Highway Kind: A celebration of the songs of Townes Van Zandt, the late, great Texas songwriter. Other highlights from his two decade plus career include performances and collaboration with the Grammy award winning Parker String Quartet and tours with the extraordinary gospel and blues singer, Francine Reed and serving as Executive Producer for several internationally acclaimed classical recordings. Seth studied with Olav-Chris Henriksen and Hopkinson Smith and greatly benefited from the mentorship of mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Erskine Patches and pianist Frank Glazer. Also enjoying a varied career in arts administration, Seth managed The Olin Arts Center at Bates College for ten years in which he curated several diverse and successful concert series being named as an "Emerging Arts Leader" by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters in 2008. Alongside his performance schedule Seth now serves as the box office manager for the State Theatre and Thompson's Point concert venues in Portland, Maine and teaches lute, guitar and ukulele at Bates. Seth plays handcrafted instruments of Cezar Mateus of Princeton, New Jersey and Bourgeois Guitars which are crafted in Lewiston, Maine.

Seth Warner

7pm doors – 8pm show | $12 adv. – $15 day of


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