Carry On

It has been a while since I’ve sat and listened to an episode of BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour. And I think I might have missed out on finishing one program I had started, as they only remain available on the BBC Sounds app for a month. Come to think of it, I haven’t listened recently to my other Internet radio mainstay, The Morning Show with John Richards on KEXP Seattle, either.

Life seems busy and full — in a good way — but with spending more time outdoors in the fantastic early summer weather, I’m falling behind on my listening and reading.

Anyway, I listened to a couple of Garvey’s programs over the last two days while doing computer work. (I usually try to listen to them undistracted but don’t want to lose any more instalments to “time’s arrow,” so I tried to catch myself up a bit.) The shows are always a delight; even the relative predictability of some of his segments is a joy as I know what might be coming but am never quite sure what it will be.

Checking out Garvey’s May 16 episode, “One For The Head on Slow Sunday” (“Slow Sunday” is an occasional BBC 6 Music-wide thing where all the presenters share laid-back sounds), I heard Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young play “Carry On.” It’s a familiar song, and hearing it for the first time in a long while, I was struck by how much the principal vocal harmony sounds exactly like Jon Anderson, the lead singer of the English progressive rock band, Yes. (I can’t recognize one particular solo voice that sounds that way; it seems to be a harmony. But if someone knows different, please comment… I’d love to know for sure!)

Crosby, Stills & Nash was a supergroup; its members all came from big-name acts: American singer-songwriter David Crosby had been a member of the Byrds; American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Stephen Stills had been part of Buffalo Springfield; and British-American singer, songwriter and musician Graham Nash was a former member of the Hollies. When Canadian-American singer, songwriter, musician and activist Neil Young (who also had been with Buffalo Springfield) would join the group, it would be Crosby, Stills Nash & Young, or CSNY for short.

“Carry On” is the first track on CSNY’s 1970 record, Déjà vu. The album, the second for the trio of Crosby, Stills and Nash and their first with Young, is a solid release. It includes “Helpless” (a Neil Young composition covered by many, including k.d. lang, whose version I posted in January 2021), “Teach Your Children,” and “Our House;” some truly delightful music. (And, Neil Young has been featured on the blog a few times, as you will see from links in my post on Annie Lennox’s cover of his “Don’t Let It Bring You Down.”) The album has been remastered and reissued this year as an expanded, 48-song deluxe edition to mark 2020 being its 50th anniversary.

CSNY’s music was classified as folk rock/country rock, but I find today’s selection has a little more than an edge of psychedelic rock, especially in the bridge at the middle of the song. There’s a dreaminess to it that seems to emerge from nowhere, then lingers subtly with the wah-wah pedal of the guitar.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the video for the song from the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young YouTube topic channel (be sure to tap on the settings gear wheel then click on 1080p for the highest quality playback):

Unofficial lyrics are courtesy of AZLyrics.com.

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