Along with "Cortez the Killer" and "Down By the River," "Cowgirl in the Sand" has always been one of the defining Neil guitar epics, the sort of song that gets thousands of wobbly fans badly attempting to air guitar along when Young plays them live.
The 18-minute version of "Cowgirl" that kicks off 2000's Road Rock, Vol. 1: Friends & Relatives live album seems both vital and particularly defiant.
The album and related tour had a bit of a touchy-feely vibe, with Young bringing his wife Pegi, his sister Astrid and The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde along as special guests. Not to appear sexist (and failing badly), it outwardly didn't seem like the most "rocking" tour roster Young had ever put together, but then... BAM!... the mega-swirl 'n' skronk of the "Cowgirl," complete with dynamically appropriate female backing vocals, more than proves that you should expect the psychedelic Neil experience no matter what lineup he's got.