David Crosby & The Lighthouse Band “Live At The Capitol Theatre”

BMG, 2022

David Crosby still delivering his psychedelic folk with help from the Lighthouse Band.

David Crosby’s work with The Byrds and the various permutations of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young is legendary, making him one of the most famous and heard musicians of the last sixty years. However, while his solo career hasn’t always matched his achievements as part of a band either commercially or artistically, his first solo album ‘If Only I Could Remember My Name’ is now regarded as a major influence on the psychedelic and jazz folk genres. Crosby’s career also started a late-career artistic resurgence in 2014 with ‘Croz’, and 2016’s ‘Lighthouse’ saw Crosby working with members of Snarky Puppy, and this is where ‘Live At The Capitol Theatre’ comes in. Recorded live in Port Chester, New York in December 2018 in support of 2018’s ‘Here If You Listen’, with The Lighthouse Band, comprising guitarist and vocalist Becca Stevens, keyboardist and vocalist Michelle Willis, and bassist and guitarist Michael League, and taking their name from their work on the ‘Lighthouse’ album. A key word here is band because this isn’t a David Crosby solo performance, rather this group of musicians has the interaction of a true band rather than being simply supporting musicians.

There are sixteen songs on ‘Live At The Capitol Theatre’, with ten of them coming from recent records recorded with The Lighthouse Band. The remainder of the songs come from Crosby’s heyday in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s including ‘Crosby, Stills & Nash’, ‘Déjà Vu’, ‘If I Could Only Remember My Name’, and ‘Wind On The Water’ with one cover, Joni Mitchell’s ‘Woodstock’, which Crosby recorded with Crosby, Stills & Nash and later with The Lighthouse Band. What is amazing is that all the songs, whatever their vintage, form a seamless whole with the female voices of Becca Stephens and Michelle Willis ensuring a rich vocal mix. Snarky Puppy’s Michael League adds a significant part of the instrumental background which together with the instrumental skills of Stephens and Willis bring Crosby’s music right up to date while honouring the groundbreaking and influential ‘If I Could Only Remember My Name’. The fact that Crosby entered his eighth decade in 2021 means that his voice and instrumental capability may not be what it was in the ‘60s, but this is not a problem because of the capability of The Lighthouse Band who carry their share of the musical load to help Crosby deliver his lifelong musical vision.

There has been some speculation that David Crosby will not tour again, and if this is true, then ‘Live At The Capitol Theatre’ which is the first CD & DVD release of Crosby’s career, is a very fine record of how a musician who has had a career that mixes massive success with more troubled times, was able to ensure his music moved with the times but remained rooted in his original vision. Anyone who is a fan, or is even curious about David Crosby, will not be disappointed by ‘Live At The Capitol Theatre’, and this is not to ignore or underestimate the significant contribution of The Lighthouse Band who have helped Crosby exceed expectations so late in his career.


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About Martin Johnson 274 Articles
I've been a music obsessive for more years than I care to admit to. Part of my enjoyment from music comes from discovering new sounds and artists while continuing to explore the roots of American 20th century music that has impacted the whole of world culture.

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