Two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer David “Croz” Crosby just released his third solo album in as many years, and his fourth in five years.
“I’m making albums at a kind of a ridiculous rate, actually,” Crosby said.
The mustachioed singer-songwriter, who is performing at the Tupelo Music Hall in Derry on Tuesday, Dec. 4, said he’s become more prolific since his 2016 breakup from Crosby, Stills & Nash.
And it’s motivated by a desire to leave something behind before he dies. Crosby said the fact that he’s 77 years old is partly why he’s thinking about his legacy.
But he also just loves making songs, which he said is a “lifting force,” a good act, because you’re putting something positive out in the world.
“There’s only one thing that I can do in my life that will make a contribution, that will make anything better, and that is to make music,” Crosby said.
He said he takes time virtually every day to write.
Most of the songs tend to be about love, but Crosby said some of the newer songs are also about the “horrible political state that we’re in” and “curiosity about human beings.”
When he’s not making music, Crosby, who lives in California, said he is “playing with the dogs, growing pot and enjoying myself.”
Crosby also loves to collaborate.
“The other person always thinks of something you didn’t think of,” Crosby said.
And he’s in two bands, each full of talented songwriters in their own right, he said. The acoustic band he calls the “Lighthouse” band, is a collaboration with Michael League, Becca Stevens and Michelle Willis. He’s currently touring with them until Dec. 10.
He said the first time he met League, he witnessed League write three songs in one day.
Crosby’s second band is Sky Trails, which is led by his son James Raymond.
“As soon as I wrote a song with him, I realized he was a really brilliant songwriter,” Crosby said of Raymond.
He said Michelle Willis is also in this band, along with Jeff Pevar, Mai Leisz and Steve DiStanislao.
Crosby said he’s currently writing for the next “Sky Trails” album, which he expects will be finished sometime next year.
Before he left CSN, Crosby was beginning to feel a change in his relationship with music.
“Forty years later, it had devolved to the point of just ‘turn on the smoke machine and play your hits.’ And that’s not good enough for me,” Crosby said. “It was starting to make music not be good for me. And music is my life. So, I don’t think I had any choice at all.”
The breakup was not amicable. Stephen Stills and Graham Nash publicly voiced their extreme displeasure with Crosby and his decision to leave in 2016.
While emotions ran hot, Crosby said he looks back on his time with them fondly, for the most part. They liked each other a great deal when they got together, and he described working with them as “a joy” early on.
But they haven’t talked since the split.
“I’m not mad at them. I don’t have a beef with them. I think we did good work, and I hope they’re OK,” Crosby said.