Saturday, April 30, 2011

Just a song before he goes/Crowd not always in harmony with Crosby & Nash


With very good fortune, I was there at the concert Jim Fink praises.  Not only did we hear CSNY, but also Jesse Colin Young and Santana.  It was a musical experience to remember.

Kagiso, Max

Just a song before he goes

Business First - by Jim Fink

Date: Friday, April 29, 2011, 3:31pm EDT


Despite being born in Blackpool, England, Graham Nash did not get up early Friday morning to watch the royal wedding.

Rather, he was still up at 5 a.m. in his Cleveland hotel room working on a new song, "Almost Gone," which is a tribute to Pfc. Bradley Manning, the Army private charged with leaking government secrets to WikiLeaks. Manning is being held in solitary confinement in a brig near Quantico.

"I suppose I could have," Nash said. "But, I was busy writing."

It is possible the song could be done by the time Nash and his longtime musical partner, David Crosby, hit the stage Saturday night at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls and make its way into their set list. Crosby and Nash are one month into a long tour that will not only cut across the U.S. but also take them into Europe later this year.

Right now, though, Nash is on a tour bus heading to Niagara Falls from Cleveland. "Almost Gone" is on his mind, not the royal newlyweds.

The song is a snapshot of the Crosby and Nash musical journey that began in the 1960s as members of the Byrds and Hollies respectively and then through their on-again/off-again Crosby Stills & Nash (sometimes Young) partnership. It is topical much like "Chicago" or "Almost Cut My Hair". It is poignant. It matters.

Nash said he and Crosby try and work new songs into their setlist, but at the same time, they do not ignore what fans really want to hear. That means a heavy dose of "Our House" and "Guinnevere."

"We want to do these things," Nash said. "You know your paying customers want to hear those songs, so why would you not play them?"

The tour has been drawing rave reviews, not only for the outstanding musicianship, but for Crosby and Nash pulling nuggets from their past out and playing them. Crosby tackles the oft-forgotten and overlooked "Cowboy Movie" from his first solo release, "If I Could Only Remember My Name."

Nash has dusted off "Used to be a King" from his "Songs for Beginners" album.

Nash has nothing but praise for Crosby and the touring band they put together that includes ace guitarist Dean Parks.

"This band is fearless," Nash said. "And, Crosby, he's one of the most unique musicians on the face of this planet."

Besides the tour, Nash has a full dance card.

Make that very full dance card.

In addition to writing new songs, Nash is working on three books of his photographs and nine different CD releases including the long awaited box set from CSNY's 1974 stadium tour, which included a memorable show at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park.

Could there be another CSNY reunion in the works?

Not immediately, Nash said.

Stills and Young are focusing on their Buffalo Springfield reunion tour. Crosby and Nash have an equally full agenda.

"I'm busy right now," Nash said. "But, I just might catch one of their shows."

Tickets for Saturday's Crosby and Nash show at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel remain on sale.


Crowd not always in harmony with Crosby & Nash


Written by


Chris Varias

Enquirer contributor


6:43 PM, Apr. 27, 2011|


As he confessed to the audience at the Taft Theatre Tuesday night, David Crosby, a ‘60s rock star whose maximum-party

lifestyle was as noted as his music, has “only got about 18 brain cells still holding hands.”


You wonder if portions of Crosby’s audience have inflicted themselves with some synapse damage along the way as

well, because not everyone in the crowd was accepting Crosby and Graham Nash for what they are.


Crosby, together with occasional musical partners Stephen Stills, Nash, and, even less occasionally, Neil Young, were the

quintessential hippie band, which meant antiwar sentiment was a part of the deal.


After all, some might recall CSNY going Top Twenty in 1970 with “Ohio.”


When Tuesday’s show – a CN affair, as SY are not a part of this tour – became political, a measure of the crowd didn’t like it, making for some heated moments on stage and in the crowd. The tension produced an edge to the three-hour event

typically missing from an oldies show.


Following a 25-minute intermission, Nash came to the stage without Crosby and began talking about Bradley Manning, the

U.S. soldier arrested for his role in the WikiLeaks case. Nash made the point that Manning is being detained by the

government in an inhumane manner. The comments drew boos and applause from the crowd.


Nash proceeded to play a song he said that he completed the previous day with Crosby’s son James Raymond, who played

keyboards with the band Tuesday night, and that the Taft performance would be the debut of the song. He called it “Almost

Gone: The Ballad of Bradley Manning.” The last line of the song is, “Bradley Manning is a hero to me.” There were more cheers, more boos.


“I hope you were booing the (expletive) people that are keeping him in jail,” Nash snapped. A few seconds later, he was

more conciliatory: “I thank you all for listening,” he said.


Two songs later Crosby and Nash, each 69 years old, combined the musical and the political in a way that drowned out the booing, if there was any. The pair did an a cappella version of “What Are Their Names” that showcased wonderful harmony singing in stark fashion.


The singing was good all the way through both sets, 26 songs in all. The band was also very good. Joining Raymond was first-call session guitarist Dean Parks, who took some nice turns at pedal steel on tunes like “Teach Your Children” and “Wasted on the Way”; Jackson Browne bassist Kevin McCormick; and drummer Steve DiStanislao.


When the crowd wasn’t cheering or booing, it was yelling out requests.


“Play the catalog,” yelled someone, apparently wanting CSN(Y) hits, not newer Crosby and Nash songs. "We’re not the Eagles,” countered Crosby.


“Play ‘Almost Cut My Hair,” yelled another.


“Do you think we’re not gonna play that (expletive) song? Give me a break,” answered Crosby and Nash, speaking on top of each other.


As they said, they later played “Almost Cut My Hair.” They also played “Wooden Ships,” “Our House,” “Déjà Vu,” Marrakesh Express,” “Cowboy Movie,” “Just a Song Before I Go,” “Long Time Gone” and the pretty hot show-opening “Eight Miles High.”


Lots of hits, a few new ones, a few of a political nature – in other words, what anyone should have expected.


Copyright © 2011

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