Borrowed Tunes II is a tribute album to Neil Young, released October 16, 2007. The album features a variety of Canadian musicians covering songs written by Neil Young.
This tribute album breaks no new ground but does a superb job of re-creating the Chicago ensemble sound, as well as the songs, of the latter-day Muddy Waters Band. That comes as no surprise, since the core group here literally was Muddy Waters' backup unit from 1974 to 1980: Bob Margolin and Luther "Guitar Jr" Johnson on guitars, Pinetop Perkins on piano, Jerry Portnoy on harp, Calvin Jones on bass, and Willie Smith on drums. Each of these Muddy alumni takes a vocal turn (Margolin takes two). While none of them matches the majesty of Muddy's voice, they certainly have the spirit of the thing down pat. A welcome note of variety is provided by the guest vocalists from the blues and rock world, who also stay very close to the Muddy Waters originals they cover: Greg Allman on "Trouble No More," Buddy Guy on "Clouds in My Heart," Levon Helm on "Going to Main Street," James Cotton (another ex-Muddy bandmate) on "Blow Wind Blow," Koko Taylor on "Mean Mistreater," and Peter Wolf on "Walking Through the Park."
There are too many artists here who are matched up with songs beyond their ability or apparent understanding. Certainly the most glaring example of this is Mary Chapin Carpenter's version of Don Gibson's classic hit "Oh Lonesome Me." Another glaring mismatch is the Collin Raye/Joe Diffie cover of the Billy Joe Shaver rebel rouser "Honky Tonk Heroes (Like Me)," the rallying cry of the outlaw country movement during the '70s…
Dedicated to mixing improvised music with folk repertoires from different cultures, the group has developed many tools to rearrange traditional folk melodies in a playful yet challenging way, using all the resources of modern music.