CROSBY, STILLS and NASH: FROM ONE SWEET MEADOW TO ANOTHER, FORTY YEARS LATER

csn live

In August of 1969, right after the astonishing Apollo moon landing and right before the lowly Mets would shock the sports world with a World Series win, a half a million strong would converge along with some of the world’s greatest rock musicians (and musicians-to-be) on Max Yasgur’s 600-acre farm in upstate New York, to celebrate life, love and peace…oh yes, and to hear some really great friggin’ music.

The Woodstock Music & Arts Fair became a timeless symbol of the tumultuous yet hope-filled sixties, and along for the ride were four very talented young men whose acoustic and electric sets were a highlight of the famous festival; performances that were at the dawning of a multi-decade and multi-faceted career that would ultimately land them in the upper pantheon of popular music.

Almost exactly forty years to the day, on another August evening like that remarkable one so many years ago, three of those young men – Mr. Crosby, Mr. Stills and Mr. Nash – will make their way to another beautiful meadow when they play the Filene Center at beautiful Wolf Trap this Friday.

And if history is any indication, their unparalleled harmonies and timeless songs will once again send chills down the spines of those in attendance, just like they did all those years ago at Woodstock.

David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash are three names absolutely synonomous with beautifully written and performed, almost perfect rock music, and these days, forty years after they met, they aren’t slowing down, on the road or in the studio. In the midst of a worldwide tour, they were recently inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, to add to their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame laurels, are working on a brand new Rick Rubin-produced record, and recently honed a new collection full of CSN rarities simply called Demos.  

csn album

How did it all begin? Depends on who you ask. It was either in Joni Mitchell’s living room, or Mama Cass Elliott’s dining room, but wherever it was, something special, something profound, was definitely happening. CSN recorded their first album early in 1969, adding Neil Young later that year. The four would make history early on with their seminal album Déjà Vu, then play their stirring sets at Woodstock, and then over the years would bandy about between machinations of the four of them, solo and together, creating more and more classic music by the armload, and continually adding to their oh-so impressive canon.

Young would eventually make his main strides as a solo artist with his band Crazy Horse and without, and CSN would keep their own sounds alive, recording several highly successful records together over the years. The four would reunite once or twice for stirring reunion tours and a top selling record, but like Young solo, CSN together have stood the test of time, and continue to blow away audiences worldwide.

The key to CSN’s enormous success has been a mixture of both emotional magic as well as political consciousness, connecting to their audience in both the head and the heart. The three have championed many a cause during their many years in music, from protesting war to protecting the environment.

But it is those voices, those three amazing, unforgettable voices, that have found CSN a permanent place in the hearts and minds of millions over the last four decades. Do they have the same range as they did in their sixties heyday? No, who does?

But rest assured, when their wooden ship docks at Wolf Trap this week, those voices will still resound through the Virginia meadows with the same beauty and power they had all those years ago, in that other meadow, on that farm, up in Bethel.

Who knows…maybe Guinevere or Judy Blue Eyes will even show up.

CSN appears at Wolf Trap Friday August 14th at 8pm. Tickets available at www.wolftrap.org

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