Chemical brothers share the love on all acoustic set
David Crosby and Graham Nash are clearly soulmates. Throughout all the turmoil between CSN and CSNY, Crosby and Nash have always remained close, despite the many obstacles and difficulties, both personal and creative. When these two hippie troubadours walked onto the stage of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion L.A. on 10th October 1971, Graham’s anti-establishment Songs for Beginners and David’s transcendent If I Could Only Remember My Name struck a chord amongst those who still identified themselves as part of the ever-changing counter-culture. By 1971, the hippie dream was rapidly fading, yet hadn’t vanished completely.
Another Stoney Evening takes its name from a bootleg issued in the early ‘70s titled A Very Stoney Evening (from a different show off the same tour), which was pressed on coloured vinyl and issued by the famous Trademark of Quality Label. Needless to say, original pressings in excellent condition are highly sort after by collectors, so if you should ever see a copy, be prepared to pimp the cat and delay that next holiday.
First of all, the sound quality of this album is absolutely stellar. Mixed in 5.1 Surround, never has any live show from this period sounded so good. Basically, this is one for the audiophiles. Every note, every breath, is crystal clear, extraordinary considering the age of the original tapes.
Opening with a superb “Déjà Vu,” Crosby and Nash’s acoustic guitars and voices mesh together in symbiotic manner, as they also do on the science fiction inspired “Wooden Ships,” a song perhaps most well known as having appeared in the Woodstock movie. Nash’s “I Used to be a King” (about his breakup with Joni Mitchell), and the political “Immigration Man,” both from Songs for Beginners, are given emotive renderings, as is “Stranger’s Room,” another song written about Joni (seems like he couldn’t get her off his mind).
But it’s mostly David’s material that is most memorable. No less than four tracks from If I Could Only Remember My Name are performed: “New Orleans,” with its medieval harmonies and lyrics taken from the names of French cathedrals; the hauntingly poignant “Traction in the Rain” (written about David’s recently deceased girlfriend, Christine Hinton); a dreamy “Lee Shore,” and the wistful “Laughing.” Some of the stage banter is entertaining as well. Graham referring to Crosby as having “Lebanese flu” isn’t far off the mark. On the night of this performance, David was running a fever of a 104 degrees Fahrenheit, almost having to cancel the show, yet the listener wouldn’t know judging by his vocal performance throughout, which seems as strong as ever.
Crosby’s “Triad” (dedicated to the memory of his sexual exploits) is given an airing, as is the beautiful “Guinevere,” with its helical-like melody and romantic lyrics that could be straight out of a collection of Elizabethan poetry. The hippie anthem “Teach Your Children” appropriately closes the album, no doubt ensuring that everyone who was there in the audience walked out with a smile.
As a duo, Crosby and Nash were never as popular as CSN, although with the trio on hiatus (Stephen Stills had already launched his solo career proper and formed Manassas), C&N simply had to carry on regardless, and smoke a few hectares of hashish in the process.
Another Stoney Evening is an entertaining and organic document that will please any fan of C&N, CSN, or CSNY. It’s just a shame it wasn’t also filmed.