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Monday
Nov042013

Graham Nash Kicks Off West Coast Leg of Solo Tour Tonight

Photo: Eleanor StillsFresh off his recent headlining performances with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at Neil Young's 2013 Bridge School Benefit Concert, Graham Nash is set to hit the road for a 10-date series of West Coast solo concerts.  This trek, which follows an East Coast outing that the folk-rock legend mounted in September, kicks off with a two-night stand tonight and Tuesday in Solana Beach, California.

Nash tells ABC News Radio that he's really enjoying playing solo, pointing out that in contrast to performing as a part of Crosby, Stills & Nash or CSNY, these shows give him the chance to dig into his catalog and introduce a lot of tunes with which some fans may not be that familiar.

"I've been able to sing songs that I'd never sung," he explains.  "I've been able to sing songs that have never been heard live from me, and I think there are four or five brand-new songs in the show."

The singer/songwriter also reports that the positive response he received during his September dates has reassured him that fans will embrace him as a live performer even without his famous collaborators.

"It's been eye-opening for me," he declares.  "When you play with David [Crosby] and Stephen [Stills] and sometimes Neil, [I ask myself,] 'Do I deserve to be here?  Am I as good as these people?'  You [have] all these self-doubts.  There is no self-doubt anymore, in my mind.  The audience loved me…They made me feel very comfortable, and I'll continue to do it."

Among the new tunes Graham has been singing in concert is "Back Home," a tribute to late Band singer/drummer Levon Helm that he co-wrote with his touring guitarist Shane Fontayne.  The live version of the song ends with a verse from The Band classic "The Weight," something Nash says is "incredibly emotional for the audience."

He maintains, "I think a lot of people loved The Band and loved Levon and knew that he was a great musician and followed his health problems…and [knew about] how great those shows that he did in the barn [in Woodstock] were."

Nash adds, "I've known Levon for a long time, and his death was very personal to me, but I wanted to celebrate rather than mourn.  And so, that's why Shane and I wrote 'Back Home.'"

Graham also tells stories about his life and anecdotes about the songs he performs at the concerts, making the performances nice companion pieces to his recently published memoir, Wild Tales.

Nash tells ABC News Radio that as well as his concerts are being received, there's always room for improvement.

"When I come off stage…I get a glass of wine and I think about how we can make the show better," he admits.  "Which song didn't follow which song or which song did follow beautifully…I want to be the best at everything I do…and I'll never make it, but at least I'm trying."

Here are all of Nash's upcoming solo tour dates:

11/4 -- Solana Beach, CA, Belly Up Tavern
11/5 -- Solana Beach, CA, Belly Up Tavern
11/6 -- Anaheim, CA, Grove of Anaheim
11/8 -- Brooks, CA, Cache Creek Resort Casino
11/9 -- Grass Valley, CA, Center for the Arts
11/11 -- Portland, OR, Aladdin Theatre
11/13 -- Oakland, CA, Yoshi's at Jack London Square
11/14 -- San Francisco, CA, Yoshi's
11/16 -- Carmel, CA, Sunset Center
11/18 -- Palm Desert, CA, McCallum Theatre of the Performing Arts

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ABC News Radio