Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young & Young session at Bird

Coming off our Songs for the Environment session, we’ll dive into more politically- and socially-aware music with the work of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, as well as Neil Young’s solo work.

The musical partnership of David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, with and without Neil Young, was not only one of the most successful touring and recording acts of the late ’60s, ’70s, and early ’80s — with the colorful, contrasting nature of the members’ characters and their connection to the political and cultural upheavals of the time — it was arguably the only American-based band to approach the overall societal impact of the Beatles. The group was a second marriage for all the participants when it came together in 1968: Crosby had been a member of the Byrds, Nash was in the Hollies, and Stills had been part of Buffalo Springfield. The resulting trio, however, sounded like none of its predecessors and was characterized by a unique vocal blend and a musical approach that ranged from acoustic folk to melodic pop to hard rock.


During his half-century-plus-long career, Neil Young has “continually explored new musical territory, from rockabilly and the blues to electronic music,” with strong undercurrents of both country-rock and “crushingly loud electric guitar rock.” (

In studying these artists we’ll explore how artists cross different genres and learn about socially-powerful songwriting.

Songs to explore:
Crosby, Stills, Nash (and sometimes Young)
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Southern Cross
Teach Your Children
Our House
Marrakesh Express
Just a Song Before I Go
Long Time Gone
Carry On

Neil Young
Heart of Gold
Rockin’ in the Free World
Cinnamon Girl
Hey Hey My My
Long May You Run
Old Man
Southern Man

After the Gold Rush
Harvest Moon
Sugar Mountain