Music News & Reviews

David Crosby is still rocking

David Crosby will perform Dec. 2 in Durham.
David Crosby will perform Dec. 2 in Durham. Getty Images for LUTB

David Crosby likes to say he’s a survivor.

He’s lived through a number of serious health issues, including a liver transplant in 1994. He’s also Type 2 diabetic.

“I love what I do,” said Crosby, 76, in a recent interview. “I try to take care of myself. I don’t smoke cigarettes. I don’t drink whiskey. I’ve done enough damage.”

He’s also a survivor of rock and roll and a creative force, having a music career that spans decades and has included several collaborations with other legendary musicians: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (with Stephen Sills, Graham Nash and Neil Young) and The Byrds, for starters. There’s also Crosby, Stills & Nash and just Crosby & Nash.

The quirky singer-songwriter has been prolific in recent years, and his voice and songwriting sensibility have held up well.

These days, he’s part of CPR with Jeff Pevar and his son James Raymond, with whom he reconnected almost 30 years after putting him up for adoption. They formed CPR 22 years ago.

“There was nothing like connecting with my son through music,” Crosby says.

He helped inspire singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge’s music as well. Her former partner Julie Cypher had two children courtesy of Crosby’s sperm donation. “David is such a wonderful person,” Etheridge says. “There is no one quite like him. He’s so kind and so very talented. Having my first two children, thanks to David, helped inspire so much of my music.”

After Crosby released 2014’s “Croz,” the provocative songsmith created 2016’s “Lighthouse” and “Sky Trails,” which dropped in September. The latter was produced by Raymond.

“I enjoy what I do,” Crosby says. “Once you get to a certain age, you can retire. I could have retired years ago, but I’m having too much fun doing this.”

Crosby received considerable inspiration 20 years ago because of his son. But before they reconnected and joined forces musically, he focused on music.

“I had to put him up for adoption,” Crosby said. “I couldn’t take care of him. I was so young then, I couldn’t take care of a box of tissues.”

He reached creative paydirt with the Byrds. “David was always very gifted,” Byrds singer-songwriter Roger McGuinn says. “The band wouldn’t have been the same without him. He then, of course, went on to have so much success after the Byrds. You can’t slight him.”

Crosby, who will perform Saturday at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Byrds and as part of Crosby, Stills & Nash. (Last year, Nash told Billboard that he didn’t “want anything to do with Crosby at all.”)

Saturday, he’ll be flanked by his son on keyboards, guitarist Pevar, bassist Mai Agan, drummer Steve Di Stanislao and keyboardist-vocalist Michelle Willis.

Crosby’s set list covers much of his career, including work with his various collaborators, a few solo cuts and a few CPR tunes.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” Crosby says. “I have a lot to choose from.”

There aren’t many left like the folk-rock legend, who is one of the finest harmony singers remaining in the music industry.

“I’ve been through a lot, and I’m lucky to be alive,” Crosby says. “As crazy as things are, we can make it through all of this.”

Details

Who: David Crosby

When: 8 p.m. Dec. 2

Where: Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St., Durham

Tickets: $50.50, $60.50, $80.50 and $100.50.

Info: 919-560-3030 or carolinatheatre.org

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