Thursday, April 26, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Graham Nash talks hits and setlists before his Clearwater gig

Graham Nash knew he had something special the moment he laid down Myself at Last, a delicate track on his forthcoming album This Path Tonight.

"That's the first attempt at the first song we ever tried," Nash said of the cut on the album, due April 15. "How fantastic is that? When you turn around and the bass player is almost in tears, you know you've got it."

This Path Tonight sees Nash in an open-hearted mood, and he's eager to share it on his spring tour, which hits Clearwater's Capitol Theatre on Tuesday. The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer — both with the Hollies and with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young — will play nearly solo on this tour, accompanied only by guitarist Shane Fontayne, who co-wrote the new album.

"People that come and see me are going to see an individual who is a human being, just the same as they are, going through the changes that they've all been through and may go through," said Nash, calling from Manhattan Beach, Calif. "And maybe for a couple of hours a night, we can escape from the chaotic life that is life right now."

For Nash, the years are ticking by faster and faster these days. In recent weeks, he has faced the deaths of friends like Glenn Frey and former Crosby, Stills and Nash drummer Dallas Taylor.

"Life's a little chaotic," he said, "but still alive and moving forward."

Your show in Clearwater is on your 74th birthday. How are you going to celebrate?

You know, I've been trying to ignore my birthday for years, but unfortunately, because I have a certain notoriety, I'm never allowed to forget that it's Groundhog Day.

Are you going to be playing much material from This Path Tonight, or is that too far into the future to really dig into?

I'll probably do three or four from there. I just love the songs. But it's one of the things about getting older, I guess — I have an incredible catalog of music to be able to choose from, and therefore the setlist changes night after night.

Are there nights where you'll say, "You know, I feel like doing an extra Hollies tune tonight," or "I might play an extra CSN song tonight"?

Absolutely. I'm very much that way. And the audience loves that. I think the audience loves humanity. Even when you make a mistake, or you forget a word, or you sing the wrong chorus, they love it, because they're part of it. That's what I want to accomplish here. I don't want my audience looking at me as some kind of rock legend. I understand that side of it. But this is me as a human being, going through my changes, and having the courage to do it front of you guys, in front of my audience. Come with me through the journey.

When someone releases a new album after this much time off, I guess the question is: Why? It's been 14 years since Songs for Survivors.

And you think I've had 14 years of being off? (laughs) Are you kidding? I've never been off. That's only one side of my life. You've got to understand: In the last 10 years, I've done probably 15 CDs. I did Crosby's box set, I did Steven's box set, I did my box set, I did the CSNY 1974 tour box set, I did the greatest hits of CSN, the demos of CSN. I've been a very busy boy. And you must understand that music is only a part of my life as a creative person. So yeah, I'm incredibly busy, and I'm incredibly grateful.

When you do your CSN tunes, those harmonies are so ingrained in people's memories. How different do they sound when it's just you solo?

What we're doing is taking each song down to the essence of how it was created. Let's take Teach Your Children, for instance. Yes, of course, people recognize that harmony. But my god, if I can't play Teach Your Children on my guitar, naked in front of you, and not get my point across, I've failed as a communicator. When you do strip a song down to its essence, you've either got a good song, or you don't.

You have to have the bones of the song that you can play on a piano or acoustic guitar. That's when you really know you've got something.

Absolutely. And no amount of technology, no amount of adding a multitude of strings and jungle-Cuban rhythm section makes a bad song into a good song.

Contact Jay Cridlin at [email protected] or (727) 893-8336. Follow @JayCridlin.

Comments
The Royal Guardsmen talk about ‘Snoopy vs. The Red Baron,’ reuniting 50 years after their breakthrough and more

The Royal Guardsmen talk about ‘Snoopy vs. The Red Baron,’ reuniting 50 years after their breakthrough and more

It's midmorning at the pub, not far from the backyard patio where it all began, and the old guys from the old band are reminiscing on the old days over cream of mushroom soup."When we were kids," Billy Taylor said, "all you wanted was a hot shower ev...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Review: Foo Fighters drop an all-night rock revival on Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Review: Foo Fighters drop an all-night rock revival on Tampa’s MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Dave Grohl charged out like a pre-tween hopped up on Code Red, sprinting from corner to corner of the stage, all kinds of jacked up to preach the high holy gospel of RAWK."You know why I'm here? Do you know why I came here tonight?" the Foo Fighters ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Royal Guardsmen return, Snoopy in tow, 50 years after Florida’s first pop hit

Royal Guardsmen return, Snoopy in tow, 50 years after Florida’s first pop hit

OCALAIt’s midmorning at the pub, not far from the backyard patio where it all began, and the old guys from the old band are reminiscing on the old days over cream of mushroom soup."When we were kids," Billy Taylor said, "all you wanted was a hot show...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Fleetwood Mac coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Fleetwood Mac coming to Amalie Arena in Tampa

Before Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham came to Ruth Eckerd Hall last fall, Buckingham said Fleetwood Mac was mapping out a tour for 2018 and beyond. And he fully expected to be a part of it."Fleetwood Mac is absolutely a dysfunctional family, ...
Published: 04/25/18
This week’s best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

This week’s best concerts: Flo Rida, Queens of the Stone Age, Bay 2 Beach Festival and more

ROCK ROYALTY: Queens of the Stone AgeWhen Queens of the Stone Age singer Josh Homme got in trouble recently for kicking a photographer at a show, local fans might have seen it coming. During a gig here in 2014, a fan got up on stage and tried to gree...
Published: 04/25/18
Review: Yanni returns to ‘Acropolis’ for a passionate night at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Review: Yanni returns to ‘Acropolis’ for a passionate night at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

I have to confess: I was not prepared to see Yanni walk on stage Tuesday night at Ruth Eckerd Hall.I mean, of course I knew he would be there. It was a Yanni concert, after all. Can't throw a Yanni concert without Yanni.But if you've seen photos of Y...
Published: 04/25/18
Hernando Symphony Orchestra ends season with ‘Kaleidoscope’ concert

Hernando Symphony Orchestra ends season with ‘Kaleidoscope’ concert

BROOKSVILLE — Some are full of bluster and bravado, while others are sentimental and romantic.And when the Hernando Symphony Orchestra closes out its season this weekend with its Kaleidoscope concert, audiences will witness the wide range of talents ...
Published: 04/24/18
SoundBytes: Tracy Morgan, Nipsey Hussle, Jimmie Vaughan and more

SoundBytes: Tracy Morgan, Nipsey Hussle, Jimmie Vaughan and more

— Tracy Morgan is coming to the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. He'll perform there on Nov. 2. Tickets are $49.50 and up. Click here.— Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley is returning to the Capitol Theatre on Nov. 9. Tickets are $35 and up....
Published: 04/23/18
Janelle Monae coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Janelle Monae coming to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

Janelle Monae's Dirty Computer, which drops this Friday, is one of most music watchers' most anticipated albums of 2018.Looks like the R&B star will follow it with one of the year's most anticipated tours.Monae's Dirty Computer Tour will take her to ...
Published: 04/23/18
J Balvin coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

J Balvin coming to the USF Sun Dome in Tampa

J Balvin just had himself a mighty fine Coachella.On Saturday, he popped out on stage with Beyonce to perform their hit single Mi Gente. And on Sunday, he showed up for Cardi B's set to perform I Like It with Bad Bunny.Pretty soon, Tampa can get a ta...
Published: 04/23/18