David Crosby

Sky Trails

(BMG)

Following on from the airy trip of the previous record Lighthouse, this set sounds more like a performing band and indeed Croz has been out touring with a show based around this album. His group is pretty much an expanded CPR and knows exactly how to bring the funk, the jazz feel, the harmonic richness and the bite out of these compositions. Because bite there is, David still gets angry and still cares about the planet and his fellow citizens. Retiring he ain’t. He has seen this set garner great acclaim and hopefully he’ll get over to Europe..I think one of the band is from Croatia and can you imagine her sailing back home as part of THIS aggregation!

She’s Got To Be Somewhere mines that FM/Steely Dan ambience to perfection on an insistent tune that won’t leave your head. The harmonic possibilities are savoured in the arrangement. The phased electric piano starts the funk tread off and the horns hover like a bunch of crows as Crosby provides an airy vocal. The chorus has a celestial suppleness about it. Heavy guitar lurks.

Sky Trails reeks of Joni with its moody acoustic guitar sway and controlled vocal, weaving a mysterious melody. The dense folksy mood draws you in and Steve Tavaglione adds slivers of soprano sax. A real twilight sound. Then we get Sell Me A Diamond and its soft funk with springheeled piano tinkling. David keeps the delivery sprightly and poetic, the ethereal setting firming up and steel guitar swells floating by like wisps of cloud. Before Tomorrow Falls On Love looks to be a co-write with Michael McDonald and the setting is basically keys and nimble bass runs.

Here It’s Almost Sunset uses a sombre tread and sax figures with a hint of Tim Buckley in the notation. No guitars, but some 12 string would have been a good inclusion, I venture…Capitol finds Croz angry, semi-speaking the lyric. He always Looked askance at politicians and more so, their motives. Could these be the sort of people who would pass fiscal measures that would greatly benefit themselves and their friends?? Oh, they are doing that right now, folks. I am surprised that this one doesn’t have a much weightier arrangement. But the words are loud and clear.

Amelia eases us into a pastoral vibe and a brilliant Crosby lyric. This guy helped write Renaissance Fair! The piano backdrop doesn’t fatten. It’s like a tuneful poem. Somebody Home is sung in a conspiratorial tone, a guitar weave in waiting. The instrumentation builds and the spell is cast. I imagine this is a setlist must. Next up is Curved Air with its crisp guitar chording and could be off Love’s Da Capo! It’s that good. The burbling bass with its fat, greasy tone sounds terrific. The song structure sounds a tad awkward as though it is not sure where it is going, yet it still works. Home Free stays in elemental territory and Crosby sounds at peace, thinking around the memories-soaked musings.

A great set of moody, deep songs. The only thing missing for me is the 12 string guitar but doubtless live Croz totes some gear of that ilk.

Pete Sargeant



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(David Crosby’s acerbic Twitter is recommended….even if he puts the boot into this piece!)

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David Crosby’s new album ‘Sky Trails’ is out now on BMG.

For more information visit his official website here: http://bit.ly/2BuAlam

David Crosby