Charlie Leissler, Randy Martin, and Jimmy Davis paid tribute to the legendary late 60s-early 70s band Crosby, Stills, and Nash this past Saturday and Sunday at The Gathering Place, and put on a great show. The Saturday night performance drew an estimated crowd of 100, while 65 more people came Sunday afternoon.
In addition to their wonderful three-part harmony singing, ably backed by Jamie Bowers' nimble bass playing, Ron Reznikov's percussion, and Steve Alingh's keyboard, Martin and Leissler provided a lot of detail about CSN's origins with the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and the Hollies, the stories behind the songs, and a timeline for world events which inspired some of the more political CSN songs.
The Gathering Place provided an ideal setting for the low-key, informal presentation, and the proceeds from the two performances, at $10/ticket, will certainly help towards the project of finishing the three music instruction rooms in the basement of The Gathering Place.
The CSN Tribute began with discussion of the pre-CSN days, and the influences on the group's formation, including Greenwich Village folk music, California country rock, and the so-called British Invasion (i.e., the Beatles, etc.). The group performed songs from the groups of which Crosby, Stills, and Nash were members prior to their getting together - The Byrds ("Turn, Turn,Turn"), Buffalo Springfield ("For What It's Worth"), and the Hollies ("Bus Stop"). They then went on to the actual CSN songs, took a short break, and returned to do a final set. Among the songs they performed were "Teach Your Children," featuring a wonderful rendering of Jerry Garcia's pedal steel guitar solo by Davis on his Fender electric guitar; the quintessential CSN song "Suite:Judy Blue Eyes," a tough song to perform live, but pulled off in good fashion by the entire group; the Neil Young composition "Ohio," which CSN (and Y) produced in response to the Kent State killings in 1970; and "Daylight Again," the theme song for the CSN Tribute, which ends with a chilling, echoing a capella "Find The Cost of Freedom," concluding the program on a memorable note.
There were two encore songs, though, and they were also excellent choices and performances - "Southern Cross," and Steven Stills' "Love The One You're With," which ended the performance in rockin', sing-a-long style.
If you missed the CSN Tribute, you missed quite a show, and Messrs. Martin, Leissler, Davis, Alingh, Reznikov, and Bowers are to be commended for bringing another great show to The Gathering Place at 207 West Main Street.