This Path Tonight, the most recent album from two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Graham Nash, had ten songs focused on changing seasons in his life and a new relationship. A deluxe edition of that album though included three bonus tracks, including some of the pointed social commentary for which Nash became so famous.
“Many a good soul lost their life and we were just three of them
Arm in arm we stood our ground for something to believe in.”
That’s from “Mississippi Burning,” a new song about three civil rights workers who were murdered in 1964. That year was just about the time Nash’s career hit its stride with The Hollies in England. His move to Los Angeles and his fateful encounter with Stephen Stills and David Crosby catalyzed a career lauded for both songs of harmony and songs of protest. Nash, who performs at the City Winery on March 7, told WMOT last week that his most famous political material is still agonizingly relevant.
“I don’t have to write about “Military Madness” today because it’s not changed. I don’t have to write “Immigration Man” again because it hasn’t changed. And one of the reasons I keep singing those songs is that it seem humanity takes a long time to learn things.”
His enduring commitment to message, nested in a good groove as he’s quick to point out, was behind his visit to Nashville last Fall to accept the Spirit of Americana Free Speech Award at the Ryman Auditorium. At 76 years old, Nash said he’s staying busy and looking forward not backward. New songs keep coming and keep connecting.
“I understand them getting on their feet and clapping for ‘Teach Your Children’ or ‘Our House’ but when you can bring them to their feet with one song they’ve only heard once, now you’re talking.”
Nash will be joined on stage by his old colleague Shane Fontayne, who produced This Path Tonight, as well as Crosby, Stills and Nash keyboardist Todd Caldwell. The show is presented by WMOT.