This release recorded on October 10, 1971 was making the rounds as a bootleg until the proper release in 1998. Self-described by David Crosby in the audience patter as “the loosest show on earth”, the album at times has the feel of two friends playing the guitar for friends by the campfire, and at other times sounds like two angels harmonizing in Heaven.
Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young had just broken up, Neil Young going off to form the band Crazy Horse, and Stephen Stills forming a group of super musicians collectively known as Manassas, leaving the two better vocalists of the quartet to fend for themselves. The plan was always for the duo to record an album together, so what better way to test the chemistry and try out the new songs than to perform in front of a live audience.
The acoustic set included many of the songs that would be featured on the Graham Nash/David Crosby album that was released in 1972 and reached #4 on the Billboard Music Charts.
The record is not a perfect one, with the sometimes seemingly contrived audience patter getting on your nerves at times. The subtle guitar playing is often quiet giving the two voices ample room to resonate and harmonize in a venue that seems to be acoustically up to the task.
The set list is a good one with a well staggered mix of CSN & Y favorites like the openers “Deja Vu” and “Wooden Ships” and the closer “Teach Your Children” (which I always thought was written by Stephen Stills but was actually written by Graham Nash.), as well as solo efforts by Crosby, with “Orleans” and “Traction in the Rain”, and the more popular Graham Nash numbers “I Used To Be A King” along with what might be one of the first live performances ever of “Immigration Man”. A highlight for me is the sparse rendering of “Guinevere” with the Crosby vocal in particularly fine form with the two voices dancing in the atmosphere like a couple of butterflies.
This album is a must listen for any fan if only for the historical significance alone. Your enjoyment of this album as a whole will be in direct relation to which artistic camp you reside. The Graham Nash fans will enjoy the proceedings a little bit more than the Crosby fans simply because the songs were bigger hits. Don’t expect this to be a fast paced album you can dance to, that it is not. This is a sublime, professional effort by two masters of their craft that should be used as a gateway drug to their first proper studio album,
Actually it is a win/win. Check them both out.
– Walt Falconer, Houston Texas, USA
- “Anticipatory Crowd” – 0:47
- “Déjà Vu” (Crosby) – 5:36
- “Wooden Ships” (Crosby, Paul Kantner, Stephen Stills) – 5:56
- “Man in the Mirror” (Nash) – 2:39
- “Orleans” (Crosby) – 2:23
- “I Used to Be a King” (Nash) – 4:55
- “Traction in the Rain” (Crosby) – 4:51
- “Lee Shore” (Crosby) – 4:49
- “Southbound Train” (Crosby, Nash) – 5:00
- “Laughing” (Crosby) – 4:59
- “Triad” (Crosby) – 6:19
- “Where Will I Be?” (Crosby) – 5:15
- “Strangers Room” (Nash) – 3:49
- “Immigration Man” (Nash) – 4:10
- “Guinevere” (Crosby) – 6:26
- “Teach Your Children” (Nash) – 4:22
- “Exit Sounds” – 1:12
- David Crosby – Vocals, Guitars
- Graham Nash – Vocals, Guitars