Classic Rock

Graham Nash “very proud” of new live album featuring performances of his first two solo studio records

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Photo: Amy Grantham/Proper Records

On Friday, Graham Nash released his new concert album, Live — Songs for Beginners/Wild Tales, which features the folk-rock legend performing his first two solo albums in their entirety, culled from four special shows that took place in September 2019.

“I’d always loved those two albums…and I always wanted to do them live, but I never did,” Nash tells ABC Audio about 1971’s Songs for Beginners and 1974’s Wild Tales. “And then my wife, Amy, one day said, ‘You know, I’d like to see that show. You better put it together.’ And so I did.”

To help organize the shows, which were held at four different venues in the northeastern U.S., Graham enlisted his two main touring musicians — guitarist Shane Fontayne and keyboardist Todd Caldwell — who put together a larger group to present the albums live.

“It was a band that I’d never played with…and they did remarkably well,” Nash points out. “Of course, Shane and Todd gave them the albums and said, ‘This is what we want to do…just learn your parts.’ And…they did. And…I only rehearsed with them probably for about three-and-a-half days.”

The group also included Caldwell’s brother Toby on drums, Thad DeBrock on pedal-steel guitar, one-time Black Crowes bassist Andy Hess and two female backup singers.

To create the live album, Nash says he listened to all four concerts and “chose the best versions of each song.”

Reflecting on the album’s quality, Graham says, “[T]hese tracks sound really good to me. Everyone’s singing good, everyone’s in tune, everyone’s playing well…I’m very proud of this record.”

Live — Songs for Beginners/Wild Tales is available now on CD, as a two-LP vinyl set and digitally.

Here’s the full track list:

Songs for Beginners
“Military Madness”
“Better Days”
“Wounded Bird”
“I Used to Be a King”
“Be Yourself”
“Simple Man”
“Man in the Mirror”
“There’s Only One”
“Sleep Song”
“Chicago”/”We Can Change the World”

Wild Tales
“Wild Tales”
“Hey You (Looking at the Moon)”
“Prison Song”
“You’ll Never Be the Same”
“And So It Goes”
“Grave Concern”
“Oh! Camil”
“I Miss You”
“On the Line”
“Another Sleep Song”

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