…at City Winery, Nashville – May 16, 2019
David Crosby has always been one of my favorites from the Classic Rock Era (aka “my youth”). Maybe cause our voices are in a similar high-tenor range, and I have learned to play several of his songs over the years. Or maybe because the Jefferson Airplane version of “Wooden Ships” – which Crosby co-wrote with Stephen Stills and the Airplane’s Paul Kantner – lives prominently on my “All Time Top 5” songs playlist.
Apart from the fact that it’s amazing he’s still alive (he has too much in common with Keith Richard), he continues to be a stellar writer and performer. At age 77 (!) David Crosby’s voice is every bit as clear, bright, and crystalline now as it was 50 years ago.
He has been touring of late in support of his 2017 album “Sky Trails.” Last night was the second time I’ve seen him on this tour. The first time was in December 2017 at the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame (my new favorite venue in Nashville).
Last night he returned to City Winery to play to a very enthusiastic (admittedly, mostly Boomer) crowd. He does an outstanding job of mixing his back catalog with the more recent material, making “nostalgia” seem “current” in the mix. I was particularly pleased to hear him perform “The Lee Shore,” which has only ever been released on the CSN&Y concert double LP, “Four Way Street.” That song was a favorite back in my own sailing days, when I lived in Hawaii in the 1980s.
After the encore (“…everybody sing: ‘Four dead in O-hi-o…’”) I thought about the extraordinary legacy that David Crosby has created since The Byrds released “Mr. Tambourine Man” in 1965. Besides The Byrds, he played with Buffalo Springfield in their waning days; Crosby Stills and Nash (with or without Young) was a staple of the era; and I’ve always considered his first solo release, “If I Could Only Remember My Name” one of the most sonically layered and textured vocal works of that or any era. I’ll put a link to that release on my website.
As we were leaving, I turned to my date and said “ya know, I never did get to see Paul McCartney, but this is pretty close….” In his own way, David Crosby has been every bit as lasting and influential as any Beatle.