David Crosby is a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer twice over: inducted in 1991 for his work as a founding member of The Byrds and again six years later for the folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash.
That group, with the addition of Neil Young, earned its pedigree as a major voice of the Woodstock generation by famously playing its second-ever live gig at that festival, following a warmup the day before.
After years of well-publicized backstage acrimony, serious health problems and struggles with drug abuse, Crosby has emerged with a late-career renaissance. Now 77, he’s collaborating with a new circle of younger musicians and has released four albums in five years, with another on the way.
Before his current flutter of activity, Crosby released just three solo albums in 42 years. His most recent album, 2018’s “Here If You Listen,” is the second one born from a musical partnership with Snarky Puppy bandleader Michael Teague and singer-songwriters Becca Stevens and Michelle Willis.
On Wednesday, Crosby plays Sheldon Concert Hall with his Sky Trails band, named for his 2017 album. It includes his son, keyboardist James Raymond.
“It brings a ton of joy and new energy,” Crosby said of his latest group of collaborators. “Everybody in both bands writes songs. That’s very inspiring, man. They’re all younger than I am. I have to paddle faster to keep up, which is really good for me. And it inspires a lot of music.”
"They all died, the same way. And I didn't."
Crosby also is known these days for his frank and unfiltered Twitter feed, and he’ll soon start an advice column for Rolling Stone titled “Ask Croz.”
He recently sat for extensive interviews for a biographical documentary film produced by Cameron Crowe, whose teenaged experiences covering a Crosby/Nash duo band for Rolling Stone inspired his film “Almost Famous.”
“David Crosby: Remember My Name” will open in St. Louis theaters on Aug. 16. When Crosby saw the film at its Sundance Film Festival premiere in January, the experience sparked a flood of mixed emotions, including a touch of survivor’s guilt when he considered the friends he's lost to drug-related calamaties, even as he continued using, himself.
“It’s puzzling. A bunch of people were doing the same thing I was doing. I always think of Cass [Elliot, of the Mamas and the Papas], I always think of Jimi [Hendrix] and I always think of Janis [Joplin], all three of which were very close friends of mine,” Crosby said. “And they all died, the same way. And I didn’t.”
Jeremy can be found on Twitter @jeremydgoodwin.
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