Neil Young recently recorded a collection of covers with Jack White on a refurbished 1947 Voice-O-Graph recording booth at Jack White's Third Man's Nashville headquarters. Yeah, the same kind of machine my dad recorded a voice letter home for his mom at some port in World War II. These were still around when I was a kid.
The Voice-O-Graph is about the size of a phone booth, with a fairly crude microphone, and directly cuts grooves onto a 6" vinyl record. You can only record 111 seconds on a disc, so obviously some of these tunes are spliced. I love the fuzzy warmth of these tunes, the scratching sound of the needle in the grooves, and hearing what old songs Neil decided to record (Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, Tim Hardin, Willie Nelson, etc.). The sound is roughly equivalent to that on Harry Smith's amazing Anthology of American Folk Music. Neil describes it as "an unheard collection of rediscovered songs from the past recorded on ancient electro-mechanical technology that captures and unleashes the essence of something that could have been gone forever."
The funny thing about Young releasing a low-fi, mono (and no overdub) album like this is that he has spent the last few years developing the highest fidelity system yet for music reproduction—Pono—that delivers music at up to 30 times the resolution of an MP3. His autobiography from last year goes into great detail on the Pono sound system, and he mentions over and over that even the modern CD only captures a fraction of the actual music recorded.
This is almost all Neil, but Jack White does vocals and piano on On The Road Again and vocals and guitar on I Wonder If I Care As Much.