David Crosby & friends
David Crosby is in the midst of a creative rejuvenation, releasing three solo albums since 2014 and each more adventurous and complex than the last. The seminal songwriter credits the renaissance to number of factors: his near-death liver transplant in 1994; his reunion with his biological son, James Raymond, in the late Nineties; and perhaps most freeing, his break with the Crosby, Stills & Nash reunion tours of the past decade.
“Getting out of CSN was a good thing,” he attests. “It was a very tough decision to make because that’s a big paycheck and it was comfortable and easy, but it had gotten to the point where we didn’t like each other and we were just turning on the smoke machine and playing our hits. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t fun. The joy of the music had gone.
“It was a really tough decision to make,” he repeats. “With streaming taking away half our income, they just don’t pay us on records anymore. I’ve lost half my income. Then I quit CSN and lost half my income again. So I’m making about a quarter as much as I used to. There’s a chance I’ll lose my house.”
Last fall’s Sky Trails, produced by Raymond, swaggered between Steely Dan-tinged funk grooves and jazz-touched folk while sustaining Crosby’s more introspective and political inflections.
“I do think that I’m making the best music I can make, and that’s really crucial to me,” he says. “I think I’ve been given a gift that I really should concentrate on making the very best music that is humanly possible to do.
“What it comes down to is time. Time is the final currency, not money. Not power.
“Your time is the most precious thing you have.”– Doug Freeman