Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

CSNY wasn't a first-blush, new to the business band when it was formed as a trio in 1968; Buffalo Springfield contributed Stephen Sills (and later Neil Young), the Byrds gave up David Crosby, and Graham Nash came from The Hollies. The band put together a smooth folk-rock sound that preached, lamented and promised social activism via Crosby's thought-provoking lyrics. It's unsurprising, then, that CSN with Y on board in 1969 in time for the band's live show at Woodstock is what first comes to mind when flower-children-turned-taxpayers are given the clues "... The '70s... California." CSN&Y's history includes two significant influences: the revolving door action of Neil Young and the important but uneven contribution of David Crosby. Young always maintained his solo career; he was on-board for Deja Vu in '70 and Four Way Street in '71, out of the line-up on 1977's CSN, made it a quartet again on Looking Forward in 1999 and was part of the CSN&Y2K Tour. Crosby was always the band's defining voice but suffered, battled and finally overcame addictions through the '80s, and his well-being, literally, had an enormous effect on the band's success. Still playing, all four are accomplished musicians whose names and occasional presence conjure up peasant dresses, bare feet, Joni Mitchell, grassy fields and love free for the taking.

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