This Path Tonight

Posted on in Art + Soul by Lily O’Brien

Graham Nash

Graham Nash’s new studio album, This Path Tonight (his first solo record in 14 years), catches him at a crossroads. At 74, he has just divorced his wife of 40 years and is in a new romantic relationship—many of the songs, understandably, are contemplative, thoughtful, and revealing.

Nash wrote the lyrics, and guitarist/producer Shane Fontayne (who toured with CSN) put them to music. Nash’s voice does reflect his age a bit—that bright, pure-as-a-bell sound has been replaced with a more wistful, slightly weaker timbre. But there are many gems to be found.

The styles of the songs range from simple acoustic folksy to driving rock and pop, and deal with Nash’s personal reflections, as well as commentary about the world. Fontayne’s arrangements are beautiful, and many of the songs feature background vocals (all done by Nash) that are pleasantly reminiscent of those divine CSNY days.

Though many of the tunes are not particularly memorable, they are all pleasant and heartfelt, and a few tracks stand out: “Beneath the Waves” is a jewel, with a catchy syncopated march-like drumbeat and crisp guitar riff, and “Mississippi Burning,” with its driving, percussive beat and flowing vocal line doubled by guitar, is a brilliant combination of folk, blues, and gospel. Although I don’t think this album will win a Grammy, listening to Nash continue to grow and do his art is a sweet reminder of his enduring talent, and for many, will feel like listening to a dear old friend.


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