Last month marked the 50th anniversary of the infamous 1968 Democratic Convention. In response to the popular protests and subsequent police violence of the day, Graham Nash wrote “Chicago” to bookend his 1971 solo debut LP “Songs for Beginners.”
Sept. 29 | 8 p.m.
MontBleu Resort & Casino | Stateline, Nev.
“We can change the world, rearrange the world,” sang the simple man from an upstairs room in Blackpool, England, best-known for his work with seminal Los Angeles folk rock group, Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Half a century later, he is now wondering whether the idealistic dreams of Woodstock Nation will ever come to fruition.
“It’s the realization that the songs I wrote 50 years ago are incredibly relevant today,” Nash says. “Sometimes it kind of makes me feel bad because we haven’t learned anything.”
While he believes certain aspects of American culture have made significant steps forward, the four-decade-long U.S. citizen sees the country as a once-bright light now shining dimly at a crossroads.
“I’m still optimistic,” he says. “I believe that humanity overall is a decent entity. I think the majority of people want a better life for their children than they had. Yet, I’ve watched this country turn into something I didn’t think it ever would. I will remain an optimist, but I’m not sure where this is all going,” says Nash, referencing racially motivated violence and rhetoric some believe to be encouraged by our current presidential administration.
I Remember Better Days
From the time he formed the English pop group, The Hollies, six decades ago with primary school classmate, Allan Clarke, Nash has never ceased to tour and release contemporary material.
Following a stirring 2016 LP of original songs called “This Path Tonight,” he released “Over the Years…” in June, a compilation featuring his most memorable tracks followed by a B-side of previously unheard demos of the same tunes.
“I realized there have been greatest hits of The Hollies and CSNY, but never of my music,” he says. “Because I’ve been on the road the past two or three years as solo artist, I’ve learned which songs people most respect and truly love.”
Nash’s upcoming tour takes him to the MontBleu Resort in Stateline, Nev., where he will perform with a stripped-down guitar and piano trio.
Expect an intimate concert from an icon with plenty of classic stories to share as he sings Hollies songs such as “Bus Stop” and “Carrie Anne,” choice covers including of The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” and “Blackbird” and a full array of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young classics from “Our House” to “Marrakesh Express.”
“I put people through an incredible array of emotional responses,” he says. “My songs seem to wander between love and being totally pissed. I adore it when my audience sings along with me.”
In October, Nash will play on The Lantern Tour Concerts for Migrant and Refugee Families with Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Steve Earle and Mary Chapin Carpenter. The proceeds will go to the Women’s Refugee Commission in support of families seeking safety at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Basically, if we don’t teach our children a better way of dealing with other humans beings, then humanity itself could be in danger,” he says, referring to his definitive composition “Teach Your Children.”
“The first thing we all have to realize is that the momentum of the planet is an incredibly large thing to move in any direction. Things take time,” he says.
Nash has loved and been loved by all those who share in his musical vision for an ever-more peaceful, just world.
“I’ve just tried to do my best, man,” he says, humble pie still fresh on his wounded cheeks. | montbleuresort.com