Graham Nash launches a rare solo tour tonight in Ridgefield, Connecticut. The trek will see the folk-rock great performing about a dozen East Coast dates this month, followed by a similar number of shows in West Coast cities in November. He'll be accompanied by two of Crosby, Stills & Nash's backing musicians, guitarist Shane Fontayne and keyboardist James Raymond, who also is David Crosby's son.
Speaking recently with ABC News Radio, the singer/songwriter reveals that the inspiration for the solo tour was an intimate acoustic benefit gig that he, Shane and James played last year for Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier who pled guilty recently to leaking classified documents to the WikiLeaks website.
"I enjoyed it so much and they enjoyed it so much," explains Graham of the one-off event, "that we thought, 'Hey, let's just do a little tour of this.'"
When Nash usually performs, of course, he shares stage time Crosby, Stephen Stills and, sometimes, Neil Young. He describes these upcoming gigs as "a different dance," noting, "When you do a solo tour, you get to sing a lot of songs that you never get a chance to sing when there's three, sometimes four strong writers in the band."
As for what fans can expect to hear at the concerts, Graham tells ABC News Radio that besides CSN and CSN&Y classics like "Our House," "Teach Your Children" and "Just a Song Before I Go," he plans to perform as many as six new compositions, plus several lesser-known tunes from his back catalog.
The two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee also reveals that he may dust off a couple of tunes from his old group The Hollies.
"A couple of years ago, me and Crosby were playing 'Bus Stop' live on stage. That was fun," he points out. "And also, I think I'd like to do 'King Midas in Reverse.'"
About a week into his East Coast tour, Nash's new autobiography, Wild Tales, will be released. Asked if he might share some stories featured in the book during his performances, he notes, "I think the in-between-song patter will be very interesting…I like to tell stories. And, then again, the songs are stories within themselves, of course."
When Graham's solo outing is finished, fans may just get to enjoy a live release capturing some of the performances. The 71-year-old singer tells ABC News Radio, "I'm going to record every single night on my solo tour. I think it's important to document the music that runs through our veins."
The first leg of Nash's trek winds down with a September 29 concert in Tarrytown, New York, while the West Coast swing runs from a November 4-5 stand in Solana, California, thorough a November 18 performance in Palm Desert, California.
In between, Graham will play a series of U.K. shows with CSN in early-to-mid October, and also will take part in a just-announced Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young reunion at Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit concerts on October 26 and 27.
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