Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Graham Nash stops by our area this fall on his current tour. Three of his four shows will be an intimate gig featuring him on guitar and vocals backed by longtime musicians/friends Shane Fontayne on guitar and Todd Caldwell on keyboards. The Albany show will see Nash and a full band performing two of his solo albums Songs for Beginners and Wild Tales from start to finish.
A singer-songwriter-musician, Nash has been enthralling audiences with his light tenor, transcendent harmonies and crisp melodies since his breakout start in 1962 with The Hollies. Of course, he is most famously known for being part of the supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash (aka CSNY with Neil Young). After they broke up, he has enjoyed a rich solo career with a handful of albums and is avidly writing new music and touring.
What stories are audiences most interested in?
Graham Nash: People really want to know where my head was at when I wrote stuff like Immigration Man, Wind On the Water, Just a Song Before I Go, or Our House. People that love music but don’t write music are fascinated by the art of songwriting as I am.
Of all your songs and albums, which are you most proud of?
I think the very first Crosby, Stills & Nash [eponymously titled] record was quite special. I enjoyed that record a lot.
“Teach Your Children” has become an anthem. When did you know you had something special?
I didn’t know when I finished Teach Your Children it would be so popular for so long but that’s one of the magic pieces of music that I am still thrilled with. You can write a song and then all of a sudden it’s all over the world. It’s very gratifying, I must confess.
Activism has long been part of your life. Besides co-founding MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy), what other causes are important ?
Right now, I am thrilled with the passion of the surviving students from the Parkland school shooting in Florida. I wanted to bring my song “Teach Your Children” up into this age. So Jeff Scherr did 2,200 drawings for an animated video for my song, Teach Your Children that is up on YouTube .
You were a photographer well before becoming a musician. What attracts your eye?
I like to take pictures of surreal moments that happen in the blink of an eye. I don’t take photographs to match my couch or of sunsets. I’m always looking for unusual stuff that happens in front of me.
Besides touring, what are you up to?
I’m still taking photos, still writing music, still creative. I feel reasonably healthy. I’m getting on with my life and enjoying it tremendously.
Any plans for a new album?
I’ve written several songs since my last studio record. The songs recorded for that album were 20 and we only used 10 on the record, maybe 13 if you got the deluxe box set.
Bucket list item?
I wouldn’t mind singing Yesterday with Paul McCartney with his acoustic guitar.
Biggest changes in the music business?
The biggest are technical. When I first started making records, it was only two tracks and now you can have 1,000 tracks. I must tell you technology can’t make a bad song into a good song. You have to start with something different.
I want to give the audience that are paying hard earned money to come and see me value for their money.
Where to See Graham Nash in Concert This Fall
September 22, 7 pm, An Intimate Evening of Songs and Stories with Graham Nash, The Bardavon in Poughkeepsie.
September 28, 8 pm, A Very Special Evening with Graham Nash and Band featuring complete performances of the classic albums Songs for Beginners and Wild Tales, The Egg in Albany.
October 15, 8 pm, An Intimate Evening of Songs and Stories with Graham Nash, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.
October 16, 8 pm, An Intimate Evening of Songs and Stories with Graham Nash, Center for the Arts of Homer.
For more information and to buy tickets, https://www.grahamnash.com/#tourdates