Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Croz At The Winery

I hadn't heard a note of David Crosby's new record "Croz" before last night's performance at City Winery. I knew he was playing it head to tail in the first set and I thought, if I listened to it and didn't like it, I'd probably not go to the show at all. (Doesn't take much for me.)

A full band featuring the great Shane Fontayne on guitar and Crosby's son Jeff Raymond on keys and other things, sounded good not great on a very mixed collection of new songs. Actually, the first five or six tunes were very strong. Crosby looked good, or at least as good as someone who looks like David Crosby could look and his voice and guitar playing was much better than I expected. The material from "Croz" was what I had hoped it would be with songs and arrangements bringing to mind the exact records that had brought me there, "Deja Vu" and "If I Could Only Remember My Name."

 The opener "What's Broken," and a hit if I ever heard one, "Radio," were particular faves. The second half of the new record, to quote Neil Young, "fizzled out altogether," with one song in particular, "If She Called," a cringeworthy solo ballad about "working girls," with lyrics about semen, that made me rethink my original criticism of "Triad." This one was so much worse, sung in that smug Crosby way that even the throngs of Crosby lookalikes in the audience seemed to be squirming in their seats.

(Seriously, what's with styling yourself after this guy? It was like some hippie version of "The Boys From Brazil" in that club.)

The first ended with Croz declaring, "After a short break, we're coming back and I promise you will know every song."


My fantasy of a Byrds set felt like a reality when the second set began with a killer "Eight Miles High." But then, a couple too many CPR tunes, a soulless "Long Time Gone" and a weak reading of "Guinnevere" and I was taken out of the game.

Setlist is below.

Overall, a disappointing night.

I made a joke to some friends that I was going to see David Crosby even though he told me to fuck off in my own shop. Here's that story, originally posted a few years ago.


FD13NYC said...

Sorry the show was a bust. I thought maybe he would do some more Byrds, or even Crosby and Nash tunes like Carry Me or Wind On the Water. But I guess he had to push his new CD. Anyway, better days, shows and set lists.

Lesley said...

Thanks for the review... Always loved If I Could Remember My Name. Always hated "Triad." I'm used to working to detach personalities from their work, but when the ickiness of the personality oozes into the work (as you describe in "If She Calls,"), then it's much much harder to not start thinking about what a douchecanoe the artist is... and you have firsthand experience!

buzzbabyjesus said...

I heard his interview on NPR and thought "Croz" sounded pretty weak. My expectations were so low as to be nonexistent.

steve simels said...

A friend was working as an attendant in an underground garage sometime in the 80s, and Springsteen -- who was attending some kind of industry function at the hotel next door -- came in.

My friend, who was a huge fan, started doing all the usual fan gush. To which fan friendly living saint Bruce replied, wearily "Just park the car, man. Just park the car."

Hey, everybody has a bad day now and then...

William Repsher said...

Re: fans resembling the artist physically. A few years ago I went to a John Fogerty/Willie Nelson in New Jersey ... and couldn't help but notice how many ragged/biker looking guys there were in their 60s and 70s, gray-hair pulled back into a Willie-style pony tail, with cowboy hats. I guess if an artist is only mirroring who his fans are, it makes sense that each would copy the other physically!

Anonymous said...

Can anybody fill me in on the Crosby and Nash thing? Did they always come up with just half an album of material, so had to throw in together? Or were they both the douches of every band they were in?

I used to have the same trepidation when I wrote for a small weekly - what if an artist I liked turned out to be a jerk? It was worst when I snagged an interview with an idol of mine, Flora Purim, but she turned out to be an angel.

Most memorable was Steve Smith. Some friends and I decided at the last minute to catch a Jean Luc Ponty show in Dayton. Smith and Daryl Stuermer (later the tour guitarist for Genesis) were just sitting on the sidewalk outside the venue beforehand, shooting the shit with everybody. Later I ran into Smith in a Chicago lobby when he was working on a Ronnie Montrose solo tour, and he peeled off from the rest of the group to say hi. Montrose was supporting Journey on the tour and now you know the rest of the story. I like to think he continued to be a mensch.

charlie c. said...

Aside: You will always see a Garcia double at a Dead related music event. Spooky, sometimes.
Meeting musicians: Most times we don't talk, they just insist that I take a picture of us together. Although I will say that talking comic books with Richie Havens was a night I will remember. Ditto talking Indian culture with Donald Harrison, and public transportation with John Boutte’.
Glad you got out and got some fresh air. Sometimes that will do wonders.
How was Cowboy Movie? “If I Only Could Remember My Name” is an all-time favorite of mine. Production. Steve Barncard.
Aside redux: I like Triad, the Airplane version, mainly.

mckee said...

If there was a Gene Clark Resurrection 2014 Tour, I'd find a way to follow it around the country like a Widespread Panic-head in heat.

First Set:
(guest star, Roger McGuinn)

I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better
She Don’t Care About Time
8 Miles High
One In a Hundred
You Showed Me (flo and eddie pop in and handle backup vocals on this one)
Here Without You
So You Say You Lost Your Baby
With Tomorrow
For a Spanish Guitar
The World Turns All Around Her

(I probably missed a bunch of good stuff, my mind isn't what it used to be)

Okay, let him take a break (he's probably winded, being dead and all)

When he comes back for the second set, he can do the entire "No Other" album...

Or I'd settle for the Gene Clark documentary playing anywhere within 50 miles of Richmond, Va.

I've seen Croz in tons of incarnations, but never got to see Gene play...

The Byrds... man, Gene, David and Roger plus Hillman - wow.

Jeff McKee
Richmond, Va

Ken D said...

mckee, did you know about this:

just a few days ago...

Anonymous said...


Every time I hear Al Kooper's name, I'm reminded of a brief email exchange with him. I'd sent him an amazing gospel quartet track that has never been reissued. He responded about the track all right, but proceeded to ask me how old I was (if I'd been a man, I doubt that would have come up!!) I'm never sensitive about my age - all I care about is talking about the tunes - so I told him. I wonder why he never responded to my reply (lol).