Stills Touring Solo Before CSNY Reunion
While fans are abuzz about the upcoming Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Freedom of Speech tour, Stephen Stills says he's very much looking forward to greeting them as a solo act on a brief tour thisWhile fans are abuzz about the upcoming Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Freedom of Speech tour, Stephen Stills says he's very much looking forward to greeting them as a solo act on a brief tour this month in support of his 2005 album, "Man Alive!"
"We have a really interesting show," Stills tells Billboard.com. "It's very old school, like what I used to do. We play 'Helplessly Hoping' with the band and then they leave and I'm out there for 45 minutes by myself with a songbook and basically the vibe of the crowd is going to tell me which ones to play. We'll kind of make it up. It will be a little different every night."
That songbook is filled with more than 300 titles, allowing Stills to cherry pick from his entire career. Joining the artist on stage will be longtime drummer/collaborator Joe Vitale, as well as organist Mike Finnigan and bassist Kevin McCormick.
Stills says he expects to bookend this mini 11-day, six-show tour, which begins tomorrow (May 3) in Minneapolis, with a West Coast swing in the fall. A concert DVD release is due out later this year.
"['Man Alive!'] was specifically designed to be able to play live," Stills says. "I wanted lots of air. It'll be the easiest DVD because a lot of the vocal performances were live." While a few of the new album's tracks were played during the most recent CSN tour, Stills says, "Because there were too many people on the stage, we couldn't get close to the groove."
As for the Freedom of Speech trek, Stills admits the outfit was hoping to hit the road a few years ago but Neil Young's 2003 "Greendale" album kept the foursome from touring at that time.
There was also talk of a new CSNY project but as Stills reveals, "Neil turns around and gets hopping mad and says, 'You have to come up and play with me when you get back from vacation,'" Stills says. "And by the time I got back from 10 days in Mexico, he had not only written enough for a new album, he had recorded a new album ['Living With War']. God bless him. I've read the lyrics and he's right on the money."
Stills has a politically charged song of his own that he may put out to coincide with the Freedom of Speech tour. "It's called 'Cry Traitor,' which I may just let the Internet take because it fits with the theme of the tour," Stills says. "'So you wanna cry traitor every time we disagree.' That's what they tend to do."