When David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young came together, something truly magical happened. They were the sound of a country that was slowly waking up to the fact that things needed to change. Their music was the soundtrack to a nation in turmoil, and it continues to resonate with people to this day.
Ironically, while their interpersonal relationships were often tumultuous, the legacy of CSNY is one of hope, of change, and of a better tomorrow. It is this message of harmony (literal and musical) that will be taking center stage at the Athens Theatre in DeLand on Wednesday, March 8.
After ongoing feuding with his bandmates, Crosby had been kicked out of the Byrds in 1967. In early 1968, Stills’ band, Buffalo Springfield, had also broken up. So, the two decided to team up with Nash, who had departed as a member of the Hollies in December of ’67.
Thanks to an informal jam session at a party hosted by Peter Tork of the Monkees in 1968, some of the greatest harmonies of the rock era were born.
Crosby, Stills and Nash first came to prominence in 1968, at a time when the American music scene was undergoing a pivotal shift. The British Invasion had introduced a new style of sound to the American public, and rock bands were beginning to experiment with longer, more complex song structures.
In 1969, Crosby, Stills and Nash recruited Young, who was a solo artist at the time after also having been a Buffalo Springfield band member.
Their performance at 1969’s Woodstock was a “baptism by fire.” After walking on the stage, Stills became very intimidated and said, “This is the second time we’ve ever played in front of people, man. We’re scared s*%tless.” His concern was unfounded, as the band played to the delight of thousands.
The foursome quickly began working on their first album, Déjà Vu, which was released in 1970. The album was an instant success, reaching the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts and receiving critical acclaim. It remains the group’s most successful album, and features some of the group’s most iconic songs, including “Carry On,” “Teach Your Children” and “Our House.”
The group continued to tour and release hit after hit from the 1970s through the 2000s. In a 2014 interview, Nash said, “We knew what we were doing. Whatever sound we had was born in 30 seconds. That’s how long it took us to harmonize.”
With music that has transcended generations, the world has lost a true legend with the very recent passing of Crosby. Yet, his legacy (and the legacy of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) will live on forever.
It is this legacy that Southern Cross, A Tribute to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young celebrates. With a one-night-only show at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, fans of the iconic band can expect to hear such hits as “Teach Your Children,” “Just a Song Before I Go,” “Our House,” “Woodstock,” “Ohio,” “Suite Judy Blue Eyes” and more! We can’t think of a better way to enjoy a night out and “Love the One You’re With.”
Tickets and more information can be found at www.AthensDeLand.com or by calling the box office at 386-736-1500. Box-office hours are 1-5 p.m. Tuesday- Saturday, and 1 1/2 hours before live performances.