Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|David Crosby, Graham Nash|
Another Stoney Evening
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
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John S. Ryan | Silver Lake, OH | 01/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The year was 1971; Crosby, Still, Nash and Young were breaking up as usual, and at the time of this recording Crosby and Nash were the only two who got along well enough to continue performing together.
They were enough.
The two close friends, an ex-Byrd and an ex-Hollie introduced to one another by Cass Elliott just a couple of years before, had quickly found out that their vocal harmonies were purely magical and that their musical styles quite unexpectedly complemented one another. They got to explore their chemistry a little bit during the wooden-music portions of CSN+/-Y concerts, and you can hear some of it on _Four-Way Street_.
But after the Big Bang, they _really_ got to explore it. And it's extraordinarily well-represented on this vintage disc.
This is _all_ wooden music -- just Crosby and Nash, with their Martin guitars and a piano. That's all they needed.
The CD's title is a reference to a famous Crosby/Nash bootleg LP (_A Very Stoney Evening_), but this is a different performance (the one that took place on the actual night to which the bootleg performance has been mistakenly attributed). It's been remastered from the original analog recordings, and with Stephen Barncard's name on it, you know the job has been done as well as possible. The sound quality is excellent throughout.
Unfortunately there ain't no such animal as a _perfect_ twenty-five-year-old analog recording. If you listen to it on headphones you can, for example, hear the high-end hiss come and go as Barncard and Nash turn Crosby's vocal track up and down on "Triad". But given what they were working with (". . . this primitive technology from another era, Captain"; "Well, do what you can with it, Spock") it couldn't have come out any cleaner.
The highlight of the CD may be "Where Will I Be," a heartbreaker from not long after Christine Hinton's death in a car accident and a performance rarity even by Crosby's standards. But the performances of even such long-familiar tunes as "All Along the Lee Shore" and "I Used to Be a King" and crisp and engaging. These guys were _on_ that night.
_What_ they were on is another question. Their stoned banter makes reference to Crosby's "Lebanese flu," and hash may well have been all that kept Crosby going through a case of the _real_ flu; the liner notes indicate that he was running a 104-degree fever on the night of this performance. (Which reminds me to mention that the CD comes with another rarity: a genuinely helpful set of liner notes. Steven Silberman wrote them.) At any rate, they've since learned -- especially Crosby -- that chemical aids aren't strictly necessary for the sort of high they reach here.
There's a hilarious moment when the two try to close the set with "Teach Your Children." Some audience members are trying to clap along but not doing a very good job of sticking to the beat; Crosby laughingly stops the tune and tells them, "We know you're _moved _ . . . but you gotta be moved _in time_."
(Then they start again and make a few mistakes of their own. On the first chorus, Crosby sings "children" and Nash sings "parents"; on the second chorus, perhaps deliberately but I doubt it, they wind up with _Crosby_ singing the high part. They swap back just in time for the final "Don't you ever ask them why" -- and if it _wasn't_ deliberate, it's further evidence of the incredible chemistry between these two performers.)
The Grateful Dead's label released this gem not too long before Crosby and CPR released their _Live at the Wiltern_ CD. The contrast is amazing, but what's even more amazing is that the two live releases are of roughly equal quality. And for Crosby fans like me, it's a welcome full-spectrum dose of the Croz -- from wooden music to slick, jazz-inflected rock. If you like Crosby or Nash or Crosby/Nash or any combination of C, S, N, and/or Y, don't miss this CD."
A 28-year-old bear hug from Crosby & Nash
John J. Wood (firstname.lastname@example.org) | Plainville, MA | 02/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful snapshot of Crosby & Nash in their early post-CSNY days. The performances are complimented by some wonderful banter between the duo and audience; almost like Nash playing Abbott to Crosby playing Costello.The song selection is a splendid mix of early Crosby nuggets from If I Could Only Remember My Name ("Laughing", the sweet "Traction In The Rain") and Nash from his Songs For Beginners period. In fact, Nash's version of "I Used To Be A King" is quite Neil Young-esque in delivery. It is also interesting to hear studio-enhanced material like "Orleans" stripped down to its bare essentials. Even the nuggets like a blissful "Wooden Ships" shines. There isn't a dud moment, and each song is braced with a combination of heart, humility and intimacy that is often rare in live recordings.Kudos to the Grateful Dead Organization for releasing a first-class CD of their musical breathren. And Kudos to David and Graham for making such wonderful music."
The cream rises
John Stodder | livin' just enough | 11/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in the 1970s, most people who declared themselves fans of CSNY were drawn either to the egotistical, multi-instrumentalist, self-described "bluesman, dig?" Stephen Stills, or to the egotistical, narcissitic, idiosyncratic, brooding guitar genius Neil Young. Crosby and Nash were nice for the harmonies, but the space they took on CSNY albums was regarded as fluff that interrupted genius. Interesting how perspectives change. Mine anyway. David Crosby and Graham Nash may not have been billed as "genius," but they were great musicians, as this hard-to-find live set makes clear. For Crosby, this album is a tour-de-force of his best songs from his most productive period from '68-'71: "Laughing," "Wooden Ships," "Traction in the Rain," "Triad," "Guinnevere," "Orleans" and "Deja Vu." Despite an obvious flu and avowed intoxication, his performances are perhaps the most brilliant he's committed to wax. I'm still not sold on Nash as a major songwriter, but the songs he chooses for this show are undeniably melodic. Most enjoyable is hearing how the two friends help each other. My favorite cut on this disk is Nash's "I Used to Be a King," a simple pop tune that Crosby jazzes up with some amazing, subtle scat work that propels the song forward, and makes a much more compelling performance out of it than this song would have any right to expect. For his entire career, Crosby has often saved his most magical moments for songs where he doesn't sing lead, but instead creates a rich, innovative background of harmony and rhythm. Nash, though less gifted, is equally generous to Crosby on his songs, bringing focus to the CSNY cuts, which work better here than on other live CSNY albums, with the S and Y hardly missed at all."