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Old 06-22-2009, 10:38 AM   #1
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Default New tour, album mark 40 years for Crosby, Stills & Nash


Some of the cover songs --which include the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday," James Taylor's "Close Your Eyes," Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown" and the Grateful Dead's "Uncle John's Band" -- are being "road-tested" on this CSN tour during an acoustic set that opens each show.

New tour, album mark 40 years for Crosby, Stills & Nash

Binghamton (N.Y.) Press & Sun-Bulletin

It may seem hard to believe, but nearly 40 years have passed since half a million people converged on Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, N.Y., for the Woodstock Festival, a touchstone in music and culture for the hippie generation.

The muddy weekend of peace and love also saw the debut of rock music's earliest supergroup: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The folk-rock synergy of David Crosby (The Byrds), Graham Nash (The Hollies), Stephen Stills and Neil Young (both of Buffalo Springfield) wasn't always pretty behind the scenes -- but onstage, their harmonies and socially conscious songwriting proved irresistible.

Throughout the 1970s, they sold millions of albums, both together and as solo performers.

Today, Crosby, Stills & Nash (currently without the intermittent Young) are somehow keeping their eyes on the past, present and future all at once.

First, the present: A live tour, launched recently, will take the trio throughout the United States and Europe this summer and fall. To coincide with that, CSN released the 12-track CD "Demos" in early June. As implied in the title, the album explores the origins of the group's earliest songs, including "Marrakesh Express," "Almost Cut My Hair" and "Long Time Gone."

In an interview from the road last week, Nash, 67, said the "Demos" project -- the idea of capturing "the very essence of what the song was" -- has been on his mind for more than 15 years.

"In 1991, me and our manager, Gerry Tolman, put together the Crosby, Stills & Nash box set. In the process of doing that, we had to listen to all our stuff -- and I was the only one with the patience to do that!" Nash said. "But in the process, I found all these demos that we'd made -- very early, sometimes the very first time a song was put down on tape.

"You didn't have studios in a box like you do now. So I think having taken care of our tapes and archived them for these 40 years has stood us in good stead, because I always thought it would be interesting for people to hear what the original concept for a song was to the writer, and how it changed when it became a record."

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members (inducted in 1997) are not merely looking backward, however. They're also working on a new album of cover songs with uber-producer Rick Rubin, known as much for guiding country legend Johnny Cash's later years as for his work with rock acts, such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

"He's an amazing man," Nash said of the bearded music guru he's nicknamed the "Maha-Rubin." "He's a combination of somebody who has very, very little idea of how the technology works -- in terms of faders and studio stuff -- but he knows about songs. He knows exactly what he wants to hear when. (He says) 'No, no, no -- we should go to the chorus! Let's go to the chorus there. OK, let's try that one a little slower. That's it -- there you go!' "

Some of the cover songs --which include the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday," James Taylor's "Close Your Eyes," Gordon Lightfoot's "Sundown" and the Grateful Dead's "Uncle John's Band" -- are being "road-tested" on this CSN tour during an acoustic set that opens each show.

Between the American and European legs of the tour, the trio also will join the Songwriters Hall of Fame in late June -- both as a group and separately. Of the nearly 350 inductees, Queen and Crosby, Stills & Nash are the only bands with all members inducted together.

"What an honor that is!" Nash admitted. "I must tell you, I'm thrilled. To even be mentioned in the same sentence as George Gershwin or Cole Porter is insane -- but I love the company."

As for Woodstock -- the place where it all started for CSN four decades ago -- later attempts have been unable to recapture its spirit. The 1999 festival, for instance, ended in fire and violence, and a planned celebration this year has fizzled because of the poor economy. Nash is thankful to have been part of the original Woodstock.

"We knew at the time that it was a very special moment. We knew that for half a million kids to come together in peace and love was a very special thing," he said.
"I'll see you all next Saturday..."
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: New tour, album mark 40 years for Crosby, Stills & Nash

I bet their rendition of "Sundown" will be beautiful! They have such a great sound
I think I need to go to the music store now
"Tiime has been wastin' away...You know time doesn't wait for nobody to find what they're after
It just keeps on rolling down the deep canyons
And through the green meadows
into the broad ocean..."

G. Lightfoot "Tattoo"
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