Crosby, Stills and Nash recording first album in more than 10 years

Folk-country icons to revisit classic Beatles, Stones and Bob Dylan songs on covers record produced by Rick Rubin

Crosby, Stills and Nash are "about one-third" through their first album in more than 10 years, an LP of classic-rock covers. Under the guidance of rock guru Rick Rubin, the folk-country icons are revisiting songs including the Beatles' Norwegian Wood, the Rolling Stones' Ruby Tuesday and Bob Dylan's Girl from the North Country.

"It's a lot slower than it's ever taken us to do an album," Nash explained to Billboard. "We all want it to be right – Rick, too – so we're taking our time to make sure it is." Rubin, a 30-year production veteran, is the go-to guy for reinventing legacy artists, especially the albums he made with Johnny Cash. He has also worked with Neil Diamond and Metallica, and was recently attached to a project with ZZ Top.

"[It's] very interesting," Graham Nash said. "It's hard to tell CSN what to do in the studio after almost 40, 50 years, but it's an interesting experience. We're certainly opening to listening to [Rick]. He has good ideas, of course."

As bands such as Fleet Foxes and My Morning Jacket make waves with a modern version of Crosby, Stills and Nash's sound, it seems appropriate that the trio are now reinventing vintage songs. Other covers versions on the album include Tim Hardin's Reason to Believe, Jackson Browne's Lives in the Balance, James Taylor's You Can Close Your Eyes and the Grateful Dead's Uncle John's Band. Yet there's no talk of Neil Young rejoining the group – let alone a cover of Harvest or Comes a Time.

But Young is co-operating with another Nash project, a live album taken from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's 1974 tour. Young has given Nash carte blanche, he said, to assemble the set. "He knows me. He trusts me. He feels I can do this. He will be very involved, of course, because I'm not mixing anything finally until Neil's heard it and approves – the same with David [Crosby] and Stephen [Stills]." The release will rely on multi-track recordings of nine different concerts, Nash said, that prove they really were a great band. "It's very obvious when you play the tracks that we're listening to each other, not stepping on each other's toes, not overblowing. It's really, really good."

Although there's no release date for the Rubin-produced album, the 1974 set is due in 2011.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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