David Crosby - Sky Trails album review

Redoubtable former Byrd still soaring high

Cover art for David Crosby - Sky Trails album

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Post-CSN, one of the more gratifying stories of late is the re-emergence of David Crosby as a solo force. 2014’s Croz was his first album for a couple of decades, followed two years later by Lighthouse. Now comes Sky Trails, a record that suggests the 76-year-old’s muse is still in close attendance. Crosby, for his part, puts this new-found proliferation down to “a lot of pent-up creative juice”

Unlike the mostly acoustic-led Lighthouse, Sky Trails finds him in full band mode, engaging in a nuanced blend of folk, soul and jazz that echoes vintage triumphs like Guinnevere and Déjà Vu. Indeed, he reaches back into the 60s for Before Tomorrow Falls On Love, a Michael McDonald co-write that asks what happened to that brave new world they once talked about, amid reflections of flickering candlelight and careless free love.

One of several songs co-created with producer and son James Raymond, who also leads the band, the soft undulations of Capitol spike into bilious anger as Crosby takes aim at political corruption in the White House.

Ultimately, however, he appears to be a contented man, from the radiant title track (a great duet with Becca Stevens) to the domestic paradise evoked in Home Free.

Rob Hughes

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.