The first time I saw David Crosby was May 28 1967 when he and the Byrds did a concert with Jefferson Airplane at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Or.
The evening was exciting. It was the summer of love. Both groups were wonderful integrating a mixture of folk music elements with rock as well as focusing on spectacular three part harmonies on vocal arrangements. There was a spectacular light show that also accompanied the Byrds and Jefferson Airplane.
David Crosby, of course , would wear his broad rimmed "Palladinesque" hat, and a leather fringe jacket. As the sixties and the seventies continued with Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young, there would be a lot of fringe leather jackets, Papoulis oil, oriental rugs on the stage, lighting of sage to ward off bad energy from the stage.
David Crosby would become a musical voice for political and social justice change beginning with his dissent about the Warren Commission Report on the Kennedy Assassination to his subsequent support for the Vietnam Anti-War movement, the struggle for Farm Workers and the environment i.e. his opposition to killing whales especially for profit and to his work for Musicians United For Safe Energy (MUSE ) advocating against nuclear power.
These political concerns and others have been reflected in his music.
The current David Crosby Solo Acoustic Tour which premiered June 6 2015 at the Kerrville Folk Festival at the Quiet Valley Ranch in Kerrville, TX really allowed for a reintroduction of David Crosby as a musician and as a song writer.
Dressed in a very tasteful black open neck shirt and black pants and his long mane of white hair, David Crosby exudes the air of a well-respected elder statesman of rock. Yet Crosby is committed to branching out and embracing again his roots of folk and bluegrass as cited by his collaborations with Alison Krause and Union Station, Shaun Colvin and now with Snarky Puppy.
The ninety minute set at the Kerrville Folk Festival highlighted new songs like "What Makes It So?" and "Somebody Home" interweaved with stunning performances of classics like "Leeshore," "Naked In The Rain," "Triad," "What Are Their Names?"( which was performed A Capella ) and "Guinevere," also "Déjà Vu" and "Cowboy Movie"; the latter two featuring the exquisite talents of guest musician Chris McQueen of the North Texas based band Snarky Puppy.
David Crosby has certainly aged well over time. The urge for self-destructive behavior thankfully has passed. His political activism and his commitment to authentic song writing has never been stronger. It's a great pleasure to hear all of his harmonic sounds of his guitar playing in very interesting tunings and to hear again his wonderful melodious tenor voice.
David Crosby mentioned at one point during the show at the Kerrville Folk Festival.
"For me, going on the road with Crosby, Stills And Nash", it's like I can do it in my sleep. I wanted to try something different, something to challenge me, just me and my guitar. The songs you hear me perform are not ones that you will hear with Crosby, Stills And Nash."
Thankfully, this tour is happening now. It's great to see David Crosby creating great music and stretching his creative artistic muse.
Indeed, he has remembered his name and the legacy of his music.
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