Crosby, Stills & Nash are about one-third done with their next album, a set of classic rock covers produced by Rick Rubin, but Graham Nash won’t hazard a guess on when it will be finished and released.
“It’s a lot slower than it’s ever taken us to do an album,” Nash tells Billboard.com, “because we’ve been on the road since May, and we don’t quit until October. “We all want it to be right — Rick, too — so we’re taking our time to make sure it is.”
Working with Rubin, Nash adds, has been “very interesting. It’s hard to tell CSN what to do in the studio after almost 40, 50 years, but it’s an interesting experience. We’re certainly opening to listening to him. He has good ideas, of course.”
Fans, meanwhile, are getting a chance to sample the songs since the band has been previewing some during its concerts — primarily the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday.” Other songs Nash and Stephen Stills have identified as being part of the project include the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood,” the Allman Brothers Band’s “Midnight Rider,” Bob Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country,” Tim Hardin’s “Reason to Believe,” Jackson Browne’s “Lives in the Balance,” “Uncle John’s Band” by the Grateful Dead, James Taylor’s “You Can Close YOur Eyes” and Tim Hardin’s “Reason to Believe.”
Nash expects work to resume on the set in early 2011. Prior to that, he hopes to put the finishing touches on a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young live album from the quartet’s legendary 1974 tour for a hoped-for spring 2011 release. Nash and archivist Joel Bernstein are putting the set together from multi-track recordings of nine concerts, and listening to them has shown Nash that “we were really a fine band. It’s very obvious when you play the tracks that we’re listening to each other, not stepping on each other’s toes, not overblowing. It’s really, really good.”
Nash adds that Neil Young, himself an exacting archivist, has “give me basically carte blanche” to put the set together. “He knows me. He trusts me. He feels I can do this. He will be very involved, of course, because I’m not mixing anything finally until Neil’s heard it and approves — the same with David [Crosby] and Stephen.”
After the ’74 show is done, Nash plans on to move to a 1970 CSNY show from the Fillmore East in New York city, as well as Crosby Nash shows from 1970 and 1993. He’s also waiting for final permissions from some famous musical friends for a Crosby Nash collaborative album to benefit the Children’s Defense Fund, which he hopes will come out in 2011 as well.