Rocking with David Crosby
David Crosby & Friends will perform at the Ridgefield Playhouse June 12 as part of a 25-date North American tour in support of Crosby’s latest album, Sky Trails. The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, 76, who first came to fame in The Byrds and then Crosby, Stills and Nash, is now going strong in a solo career. Crosby’s band on tour includes his son (and Sky Trails producer) James Raymond on keys, Mai Agan on bass, Steve DiStanislao on drums, Jeff Pevar on guitar, and Michelle Willis on keys and vocals.
Andrea Valluzzo spoke with Crosby about his upcoming performance.
Andrea Valluzzo: Tell us about Sky Trails.
David Crosby: I love complex structures. I like intricate chord changes, intricate, complex harmony structures, more sort of a sophisticated level of music, that makes me happy. It’s what I do, this band really goes that direction for me, and that’s one of the things I like.
AV: Of all the big hits you’ve had over the years, what’s the one song that audiences always want you to perform?
DC: They love Guinevere, Déjà Vu and Long Time Gone. … We have been closing with Ohio, which they have been going crazy for.
AV: Do you have a favorite song to perform or one that has special meaning for you?
DC: The whole set has meaning for me or I would not be doing it.
AV: What’s it like performing with your son and having him produce your latest album?
DC: It’s a joy. He is a wonderful guy, a dear friend, a good son, and a wonderful musician.
AV: How long have the two of you been performing together?
DC: Ever since we met. He was put up for adoption by his mother. I worried for him about 30 years [before the two met] and then he went to check who his birth parents were. He reached out to me, he was just wonderful. He’s let me earn a place in his life. That’s really been a gift.
AV: You have put out four solo albums in four years at an age when a lot of people think about slowing down. Yet you seem like you are just getting going.
DC: The last 10 years we did Crosby, Stills and Nash, it just wasn’t fun. We would do a good job but we didn’t like each other. It didn’t feel like it was a place I could bring my songs, so I had a couple saved up. I had been working with James. Then working with Michael, in the Lighthouse band, an acoustic band. We write together, we have such a joy doing it. It’s made me very excited to make records.
AV: What was it like hearing yourself on the radio the first time?
DC: We were driving down Sunset Boulevard — all five of us in The Byrds were in a Ford station wagon. All of a sudden KRLA started playing our record, Tambourine Man. We pulled over because we were so excited. And then they played it again, twice in a row, and nobody had ever done that on the radio. We totally freaked out, we were dancing in the street.