If Stephen Stills isn’t doing cartwheels across the stage and jumping off amplifiers this summer on his tour with Crosby, Stills and Nash, he’ll have a good excuse.
“This tour, I’ve got to hobble through this tour, and then I’ve got to go and get a knee replacement,” the guitarist/singer said in a phone interview earlier this summer.
Other than the bothersome knee, Stills is a happy guy these days. He is happily married, he’s lost considerable weight and looks fit and trim, and yes, he’s happy to be back out on tour with his long-time musical comrades, Graham Nash and David Crosby.
The trio has assembled a new band for this tour, which comes to Hartman Arena on Saturday. It includes Todd Caldwell (organ), Shane Fontayne (guitar), Steve DiStanislao (drums), Kevin McCormick (bass) and James Raymond (keyboards). Stills loves what he’s hearing on stage.
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“It’s a great band. It gives us all this latitude to do anything from any period of our careers,” Stills said. “So we are having a great time resurrecting songs, and they’re (the band members) very sensitive to dynamics and getting out of the way and things like that. So we’ve got the whole gamut.”
The tour coincides with the recent release of a concert DVD that was filmed in April in San Luis Obispo, Calif., when Crosby, Stills and Nash did a run of West Coast shows.
“We happened to really all be on that night,” Stills said.
He’s also jazzed about a box set that spans every phase of Stills’ career, which is being prepared for release later this year.
“It’s four discs. It’s five and a half hours of music,” Stills said. “It’s from everything. There’s some CSN stuff in there. There’s me doing CSN songs solo. There’s me doing covers. There’s some great guest sets kind of things and live takes. But the startling thing is how diverse the songs are and how deeply involved I would get in them.”
One rather famous session that will not be included in the box set found Jimi Hendrix collaborating with Stills. Stills said negotiations are under way to release the tracks the two guitarists recorded through the Hendrix family and its Experience Hendrix umbrella.
Crosby, Stills and Nash are busy these days. In addition to the tour, the group reportedly will release a box set culled from the 1974 Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tour in the first part of 2013. A second collection of demo recordings is also in the pipeline.