Three years ago, David Crosby was a man without a band. His steady, lucrative partnership with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, one that spanned nearly five decades and became a firmament of the American musical landscape, fizzled out. As a man in his mid-70s, you could have totally forgiven him for packing it in; retiring from the road and spending the rest of his days playing around with his signature, weird guitar tunings on his front porch.
Except he didn’t do that. Instead, he found a whole new group of collaborators many, many years his junior and has enjoyed a creative renaissance that’s nearly unprecedented in the music industry today. “I felt that I didn’t have any choice but to leave that band that I’m absolutely glad I did,” Crosby says of his departure from Crosby, Stills & Nash. “It was kind of like diving off a cliff. I tell you, it’s a very scary thing to do. But I hit the Lighthouse band and that was like growing wings half way down the cliff.”
If you thought Crosby’s work ended with two bands, a just-completed tour of Europe and an impending run through North America, you’d be sorely mistaken. He also recently linked up with Americana star Jason Isbell after guesting with him at the Newport Folk Festival earlier this year for an incendiary live performance of CSN classics “Ohio” and “Wooden Ships.” They haven’t formalized anything quite yet, but are talking about getting together to possibly do some writing soon. “I like Jason a lot, I think he’s a really good writer,” Crosby says, while noting his affinity for Isbell’s plaintive tack “If We Were Vampires” in particular. “I would sit in with him again for sure. And I do think he and I are going to wind up writing a song.”
Crosby also just recently finished working with legendary filmmaker and music journalist Cameron Crowe on an unflinching documentary about his own life. “Cameron’s known me since he was a teenager, and he’s a very, very detailed interviewer,” he said. “It’s just a dangerously honest documentary… We all felt, you know, this is a pretty heartfelt story and there is a lot to be learned from it. And we thought, screw it, we’re going to tell it like it is.”