|David Crosby||Sky Trails|
David Crosby — Sky Trails (Sept. 29th, 2017) ↑↓★↑↓ “It’s the same thing that happens with all groups,” he maintains. “You start out being very much in love with each other, and you love each other’s music and you’re having a blast, and you wind up 40 years later not liking each other and [now you] just turn on the smoke machine and play your hits. And it’s no fun. It was stifling music for me. It was making music be no fun. This (solo career) is like jumping off a cliff, and then halfway down I put out [2016’s] Lighthouse and that was like growing a set of wings.”
Birth name: David Van Cortlandt Crosby
Born: August 14, 1941, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
★ Martin D~18DC
★ Gretsch Tennessean
★ Gretsch White Falcon
★ Gibson Byrdland
★ Gibson ES~335
★ Martin D~45
★ Fender Stratocaster
Album release: September 29th, 2017
Record Label: BMG
01. She’s Got to Be Somewhere 4:47
02. Sky Trails 4:51
03. Sell Me a Diamond 5:29
04. Before Tomorrow Falls on Love 3:52
05. Here It’s Almost Sunset 3:54
06. Capitol 6:58
07. Amelia 5:38
08. Somebody Home 4:39
09. Curved Air 4:45
10. Home Free 0:18
1. She’s Got To Be Somewhere
2. Sky Trails
3. Sell Me A Diamond
4. Before Tomorrow Falls On Love
1. Here It’s Almost Sunset
1. Somebody Home
2. Curved Air
3. Home Free
1. She’s Got To Be Somewhere
2. Here It’s Almost Sunset
★ David Crosby — vocals, electric guitar
★ Mai Agan — bass
★ James Raymond — keyboards
★ Steve Tavaglione — saxophone
★ Steve DiStanislao — drums, percussion Review
By Gary Graff, 9/6/2017
♣ι♣ David Crosby’s Sky Trails, whose title track is debuted exclusively below, is the two~time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member’s third album in three years — pretty prodigious for a guy who took 18 years between his first two solo albums. And knowing what we do about Crosby’s longtime sobriety, it’s certainly not chemically assisted.
♣ι♣ “Y’know what, man? The easy thing would be to say, ‘OK, I was all constrangled being in that group, and as soon as I got out of that group I blossomed,” Crosby tells Billboard, referencing Crosby, Stills & Nash (and occasionally Young), which has been dormant since 2015. “I don’t know if it’s that simple. I think I was still working on these tunes even when I was still in Crosby, Stills & Nash, but I don’t think they would have been done with that group. I quit them, and I started doing this, and it’s been spectacular as far as the writing goes. I’ve just been so lucky.”
♣ι♣ Crosby also credits diversity with turning up the flame on his muse. He’s currently working with tw ~band configurations, electric and acoustic, which he says “gives me a wide range of ability.” And he’s also embraced co~writing, which has helped the folk~rock legend increase the volume and the breadth of his material.
♣ι♣ “For me, writing with other people really works,” explains Crosby. “The other person always seems to have something you didn’t, and I wind up writing a wider range of stuff than I would write by myself — and I write a pretty wide range of stuff by myself. But writing with other people definitely widens the scope. They all write completely different than I do.” Crosby adds that “there’s only three or four people I can write with, honestly” — which on Sky Trails includes Michael McDonald, Mai Egan and his son James Raymond.
♣ι♣ Crosby wrote the “Sky Trails” track with Becca Stevens, drawing on both of their experiences as touring artists. “We both spend a lot of time on the road,” Crosby notes, “and when you’re on the road, after the second or third week you don’t know where you are. You’re out there somewhere, and all the cities look roughly the same, and you lose track. I know it sounds funny, but it happens to us road musicians all the time, and that leads to a kind of disorientation. There’s no instruction book for this, you know?”
♣ι♣ Sky Trails, which also includes a cover of longtime pal Joni Mitchell’s “Amelia,” is also marked by a jazzier flavor than Crosby’s other work — though Crosby’s work has included hints of jazz before. “It’s sort of a built~in thing with me,” he acknowledges. “I listen to a lot of jazz. I listen to a lot of Steely Dan. I really like Weather Report, I really like Miles [Davis], really like ‘Trane [John Coltrane]. I’ve listened to a ton of different jazz artists over the years, so I’m tilted in that direction. The music’s really different; It’s more sophisticated, but if you let that tilt your singer~songwriter music, it just makes it more interesting singer~songwriter music to me.”
♣ι♣ http://www.billboard.com/ Description:
↑↓★↑↓ Sky Trails, his third album of original material in four years, continues fearless folk rock legend David Crosby’s unexpected late~period resurgence. In his eighth decade, Crosby is not only surviving, but thriving personally and creatively. Out September 29th on BMG, Sky Trails features a full band sound that takes Crosby in a new musical direction as the set tilts toward jazz. “It’s a natural thing for me,” says Crosby, who joyously embraced the challenge of the shifting song structures. “I’ve always felt more comfortable there. There’s complexity, intricacy and subtleties in the music. I like that stuff.”
♣ι♣ The album opens with the intoxicating “She’s Got To Be Somewhere,” — Crosby and a nine~piece band premiered the track via the Tonight Show earlier this year — which features sturdy horns, bending guitar notes and lilting melodies. Crosby is backed on the album by the Sky Trails musicians, the core of whom are saxophonist Steve Tavaglione, bassist Mai Agan, drummer Steve DiStanislao, and Crosby’s son, multi~instrumentalist James Raymond, who also produced the album.
♣ι♣ Sky Trails follows last year’s critically acclaimed Lighthouse — which received praise from outlets including Rolling Stone, Stereogum and NPR Music — which was preceded by 2014’s Croz, Crosby’s first solo album in 20 years. Though Crosby wrote many of the songs for Sky Trails as he was working on Lighthouse, the two are distinctly different projects. “Lighthouse was conspicuously and deliberately acoustic,” Crosby says. “Sky Trails was intended to be a full band record from the start.” Crosby found himself reinvigorated by the stellar musicians with which he’s surrounded himself. “All the people in the Sky Trails band are much younger than me, so I have to paddle faster to keep up,” he says with a laugh.
♣ι♣ His delight in working with his son, whom Crosby met when Raymond was 30 after being given up for adoption, is palpable. “The relationship that’s developed with my son is absolutely uncanny and wonderful,” he says.
♣ι♣ Crosby co~wrote four of the album’s 10 songs with Raymond. “He’s probably the person I write best with,” Crosby says. “We often write over the internet. I’ll send him a scrap of words and then we’ll expand on it or I’ll send him a complete set of words and he’ll say, ‘please let me see what I can come up with’ and he’ll send me back a demo of what he thinks the music should be.”
♣ι♣ He also praises Raymond for his inventive studio wizardry, especially on “Curved Air,” where Raymond’s keyboards create the vibrant flamenco guitar sound that serves as the song’s foundation. “Hell no, I can’t play like that,” Crosby laughs when asked if he’s playing guitar on the track that examines life’s contradictions. “It’s James on keyboard. So is the bass. It’s the only time I’ve ever heard anybody write singer/songwriter music with flamenco playing.”
♣ι♣ Crosby and Raymond recorded some of the songs at Raymond’s home studio and then moved to Jackson Browne’s Groove Masters studio in Santa Monica for tunes that feature the full band.
♣ι♣ In addition to the opener and “Curved Air,” standout tracks include “Before Tomorrow Falls On Love,” a spare, romantic piano ballad Crosby co~wrote with Michael McDonald, that reveals Crosby to be quite the tender jazz crooner. He and Becca Stevens bring a sweet, ethereal gentleness to the title track, as their voices weave around Tavaglione’s soprano sax. “She’s a stunning, amazing singer and a great writer,” Crosby says of Stevens, with whom he co~wrote the track. “I’d rather be in a band with her than almost anybody.”
♣ι♣ Though he offers abundant praise for his bandmates, as writer/co~writer of eight of the tracks, Crosby deserves the credit for the album’s wide~ranging, incisive lyrics that examine the human condition, from our frailty on “Here It’s Almost Sunset” to our greed on the searing “Capitol.”
♣ι♣ The album is anchored by Crosby’s instantly recognizable iconic vocals, which are by turns biting and soulful and it holds together remarkably well as a cohesive statement about our humanity. The album’s lone cover is a stirring version of “Amelia,” a tune written by Crosby’s longtime friend Joni Mitchell and featured on her own jazz~based seminal work, 1976’s Hejira. “I’ve always loved how Joni wrote about her love life and Amelia Earhart’s life at the same time,” Crosby says. “It’s just exquisite writing.”
♣ι♣ In Crosby’s unparalleled six~decade career, the native Californian has created songs that resonate as indelible cultural touchstones for more than three generations, not only as a solo artist, but as a founding member of The Byrds in the mid~60s, Crosby, Stills & Nash (recipients of the Grammy for best new artist in 1969), and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. He’s collaborated with dozens of artists, including Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, Phil Collins, Elton John and Carole King.
♣ι♣ The folk rock pioneer, who was inducted into the prestigious Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009, has also served as our social conscience, not only eloquently writing about societal issues on such songs as “Almost Cut My Hair” and “Wooden Ships,” but continuously donating concert proceeds to likeminded causes. His towering influence and brilliant ability to capture the spirit of our times in his music remains undiminished.
|David Crosby||Sky Trails|
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