Crosby and Nash
As a duo, longtime creative partners David Crosby and Graham Nash bring out the best in each other, their distinct yet complementary styles balancing an equation that delivers a seamless and inspiring musical whole. Two-thirds and one-half, respectively, of Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are legendary for their airtight and crystal-clear vocal harmonies, as sublime when delivered by simply these two together as they are from the larger configurations. It is a sound that's one of the true touchstones of the rock ‘n' roll era.
Their first joint LP was 1972's Crosby & Nash, of which online music authority allmusic.com wrote, "This self-titled release is one of-if not arguably the-most impressive side project to arise from CSN." Both spotlighting and weaving together the individual sounds of these two equally literate and melodic singer-songwriters, the disc delivered the Top 40 hit "Immigration Man," as well as the also-Nash-penned classic, "Southbound Train." In 2004, two more albums in tandem and three-plus decades later, comes the pair's fourth-ever studio release, Sanctuary Records' double-disc Crosby-Nash.
Produced by David Crosby and Graham Nash along with the father-son team of Russell and Nathaniel Kunkel, the 2CD Crosby-Nash is their first album of original material in almost 30 years, following up 1976's Whistling Down The Wire (and 1975's Wind On The Water). Time has diminished none of the stars' vocal power or skill at composing insightful and moving songs, and the work is in fact enriched by the friendship and personal and artistic growth these two have long shared. Like the best legacy brands, it is timeless. "It was really strange, and really wonderful," sums up Nash, "that it was so easy. It felt like we'd just carried on where we'd left off 28 years ago."
Nash amply credits the players for their contributions to an album that, while it may have felt effortless to make, sounds as intricate, layered, emotionally resonant, and thought-provoking as anything they've ever done. "The musicians we worked with were completely amazing," he says, "they shortened the distance between our minds and the music." Comprising the ace Crosby-Nash team are veteran rock virtuosos Dean Parks (guitar), Leland Sklar (bass) and Russ Kunkel (drums), as well as Crosby's son James Raymond on keyboards and Jeff Pevar-the ‘P' from Crosby and Raymond's trio CPR-on guitar. The Kunkels, says Nash, "flew miles above everybody else, helping us with the organization, engineering, and production of it all." Russ Kunkel's collaboration with C&N dates back to playing on their '72 album, and Russ and Nathaniel also produced Nash's 2002 solo album
Among the stand-outs on Crosby-Nash is the disc one opener "Lay Me Down," written by James Raymond, with an enchanting lead vocal courtesy of David Crosby. Citing it as one of his favorites, Nash describes the track as "a brand new melody with today's sensibilities, but somehow, it sounds ancient, hundreds of years old." The soft and pensive "Through Here Quite Often," a Crosby composition, features his keen lyrical observations of a waitress and the small kindnesses she brings to peoples' days.
Crosby and Nash's work, both solo, duo and with CSN (& sometimes Y) has always been associated with social commentary, and Crosby-Nash carries on the tradition in fine style. "Don't Dig Here," a co-write by James Raymond, Nash, and Russ Kunkel, tackles nuclear waste and the futility of storing it away at Yucca Mountain. "They Want It All," Crosby's searing and muscular address to Enron and corporate greed, has unfailingly roused the crowd at recent CSN concerts. All in all, the double album's twenty diverse tracks, all making their recorded debut, run the gamut as to when they were created. Nash's dreamy "Milky Way Tonight" "was written the morning it was recorded," he says, while "Other Side Of Town," he adds, "was written when my son Jackson was a year old, and now he's 26."
David Crosby and Graham Nash first met in 1968. Crosby had just produced Joni Mitchell's acclaimed debut, and had begun collaborating with Stephen Stills. They invited Nash to Joni's Laurel Canyon home during an L.A. stop on a Hollies tour, and played him two songs of Stills' they were writing: "Helplessly Hoping," and "You Don't Have To Cry." Nash joined in on harmony, and according to Crosby, "I thought I was gonna die. I thought my heart was gonna jump right through my mouth. It was about the rightest thing I ever heard." Millions of fans agreed-the trio's stellar, self-titled '69 debut was a smash, and, in addition to the two aforementioned tracks, delivered the classics "Suite: Judy Blues Eyes," "Marrakesh Express," and "Guineverre." CSN won the 1969 GRAMMY® for Best New Artist, made musical history at Woodstock, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, and continue to record and perform together (as do CSNY).
Crosby and Nash each brought their own considerable previous success to that now-fabled joint venture. Native Californian David Crosby, son of an Oscar®-winning cinematographer, began his career as a folk singer, spending two years on the road playing clubs and coffeehouses across the country. Back in L.A. in ‘63, he won renown for his songwriting and charismatic presence with The Byrds, also featuring Roger McGuinn, Chris Hillman, Gene Clark and Michael Clarke. Through his work with the seminal folk-rock band-Rock and Roll Hall of Famers since '91--Crosby helped co-invent the era-defining fusion of acoustic folk and electric rock that influenced early ‘60s contemporaries Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and scores of musicians who followed.
Blackpool, England-born Graham Nash began performing at the age of 14 with hometown pal Allan Clarke, in a style heavily influenced by the Everly Brothers. The pair committed to a musical career and first billed themselves as the Two Teens, who, after several evolutions and name changes, became The Hollies (named after Buddy Holly). With Nash singing high harmony, Clarke on lead, and Tony Hicks underneath, The Hollies created some of the most stirring 3-part harmonies in popular music-before CSN-and became one of the most commercially successful acts of the British Invasion phenomenon, with hits including "Bus Stop," and "Carrie Anne."
Each artist continues to pursue solo passions. David Crosby tours and records with CPR, the jazz-inflected rock ensemble he formed with son James Raymond in 1995. He has also won widespread acclaim for Stand And Be Counted, his book and television program documenting the activism and social awareness of contemporary musical artists, and for his efforts in support of campaign finance reform. Graham Nash's 2002 solo album, Songs For Survivors, marked the first time a major artist premiered a new album in 5.1 DVD-A prior to its stereo release. Nash has also pursued a career as a photographer and digital imaging pioneer parallel to his work in music, and his first book, Eye To Eye: Photographs By Graham Nash-featuring over 180 black & white images--has just been published.
Together, though, they generate a magic that transcends their individual resumes...you can hear it on their classic 1970 live album, Another Stoney Evening (recently re-released in digital 5.1). It's a concert experience that fans will be able to get first-hand when David Crosby and Graham Nash tour as a duo later this year in support of Sanctuary Records' 2CD release Crosby-Nash, which carries their legacy of timeless songwriting, indelible vocals, and peerless harmonies, into the future.