WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ (September 9, 2016) –The Center for the Arts at Monmouth University has announced that tickets are now on sale for an October 1 tribute to the music of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; an experience known as CSNsongs.
Presented in the recently refurbished Pollak Theatre on the Monmouth campus, the 8 p.m. concert puts a uniquely Garden State spin on a musical experiment that came together from three nations and several far-flung corners of the 1960s soundscape. While David Crosby (The Byrds), Graham Nash (The Hollies) and Stephen Stills (Buffalo Springfield) each found a degree of transistor-radio success while helping their respective bands forge their own distinctive sound, it was a yearning to create music outside the confines of the pop-combo template that found the three singers and songwriters in the same place at the same time: California’s legendary Laurel Canyon scene of the late 60s and early 70s.
As generations of fans could attest, when those three voices joined together in harmony, they created a signature sound and a sensibility that transcended the complications of individual egos and strong personalities. The songs from the debut album by Crosby, Stills & Nash (“Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “Marrakesh Express”) were already leaping from radio speakers coast to coast, when the fledgling supergroup (joined by Stills’ former Buffalo bandmate Neil Young) played its second-ever gig at the original Woodstock festival; a high-visibility move that resulted in another hit single with Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock.”
With Young on board, the follow-up album “Déjà Vu” scored the band two more Top 40 hits in “Teach Your Children” and “Our House” — and the non-LP single “Ohio,” inspired by the April 1970 shootings at Kent State, confirmed that the group was as much about passionate social activism as it was about making gorgeously pretty singalongs. With the brightly burning partnership’s sudden dissolution later that year, the energy and momentum carried over to solo recordings like Stills’ “Love the One You’re With,” Young’s “Southern Man,” and the Nash-Crosby collaboration “Immigration Man.”
Many of these generational signifiers and more are on the program for “CSNsongs,” a project that bills itself as The Only National CSN&Y Tribute Show of Its Kind — and a spot-on homage brought to life by a septet of New Jersey-based musicians. Veteran performers Lou Pucci, Bill Kelly and Phil Bertolo front the band via their expert channeling of Crosby, Stills and Nash; they’re teamed with Steve Magliaro (keyboards), Aaron Chesler (bass), John Hawes (drums) and Michael Patterson (percussion) for a set that spans the eras from the individual members’ former bands, to later recorded reunions like “Dark Star” and “Just a Song Before I Go.”
Boasting their own formidable list of credits, from Pucci’s long tenure as a member of premier Jersey Shore cover band The Watch, to Bertolo’s pedigree as step-sibling to Woodstock original Melanie, the cast of “CSNsongs” delivers this material with the heartfelt conviction of true fans who listened, lived and breathed these classic songs through the years. They’re among the millions of people whose lives were touched by the music — and on October 1 they pay the feeling forward for audiences of all ages.
Tickets for the October 1, 2016 performance of “CSNsongs” are priced at $20 and $30, with a Gold Circle seating option of $40, and can be reserved through the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/arts. Tickets for other upcoming Performing Arts events — including concerts starring Rosanne Cash (October 21) and Arlo Guthrie (November 11), presented in partnership with the Grammy Museum — are also on sale now. To schedule interviews, please contact Kelly Barratt at 732-263-5114.