Buddy Miles, Down By The River (studio version)
We lost Buddy Miles in February of this year.
I saw Buddy Miles perform once, touring with his power trio in the early 1970's. I can still picture him on stage, still here his earth-shaking live performance of Down by the River to this day. I'd never heard the song before; it was one of those transformative moments when, for music fans, the power of the music changes your world. As much as I've grown to love Neil Young's original, that night in Tampa, Miles nailed it, summoning up all the power in this great song.
For further reading, I recommend Echoes in the Wind's post on Buddy Miles' cover of Down by the River -- there whiteray eloquently recounts the first time he heard it on the radio.
Rest in peace, Buddy.