Danny's Blog
Graham Nash at Talking Stick Arena April 23: Review

Graham Nash was born in England and was one of the founding members of the 1960’s pop band, The Hollies. They produced such great songs as Here I Go Again, If I Needed Someone,Bus Stop, and Carrie Anne.

Graham left The Hollies in 1968, moved to California and joined fellow musicians, Steven Stills and David Crosby, to form CSN. Later Neil Young joined the group to create CSN&Y. CSN (and CSN&Y) were known for their songwriting and amazing harmonies. CSN&Y played the original Woodstock festival in 1969 and were leaders of the counter-cultural revolution of the 1960s. Graham has been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame twice, first with CSN and then again with The Hollies. In the late 60s, Graham became politically and environmentally active and over the years wrote a number of songs including Military Madness, Chicago, Immigration Man, Barrel of Pain and Soldiers of Peace.

I was lucky enough to personally meet Graham back in the 1980s at a concert in Tucson. He was very gracious, unlike a lot of musician back then, and we talked not about music but about photography. At the time Graham was collecting Ansel Adams (legendary American western landscape photographer) originals. Graham was very much into photography both from an artistic and technical point of view.  I thought it was amazing that here was an outstanding musician and songwriter that also shared my passion for photography. Over the years, Graham has produced a number of photographic images and even sold a 2000 print collection through Sotheby’s auction house.


Graham Nash appeared at the Talking Stick Resort Showroom on April 23, 2016.  This tour, Graham is doing a 2 man show with fellow musician, song writer and producer, Shane Fontayne.  Graham plays acoustic guitar or piano while Shane accompanies him on electric or acoustic guitar. The song selection ranges over the course of Graham’s career, starting with Bus Stop when he was with the Hollies, to Immigration Man when he was in CSN and also his latest solo work.  Known for his vocals and harmonies, Graham’s voice is still as strong and clear as when I saw him in 1974 and 1980.  The show was over 2 hours and consisted of 2 sets with a short intermission.  Graham talked about how he came up with some of the songs.  Immigration Man was written because he got pissed off when only he was detained by American immigration when CSN&Y were returning from a show in Vancouver, Canada.  He came up with Wind on the Water while sailing with David Crosby and they saw a blue whale and his concern about the slaughter of whales.  One of my favorites, Chicago was written about the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968 and the trial of the “Chicago 7”.  On a lighter note, Our House was written after he and Joni Mitchell went to an antique store and she picked out a vase – it was a cold gray day in LA, so when they got home, he said, “I’ll light the fire while you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today”.

This is my third time I have seen Graham, once with CSN&Y and twice solo.  This is a must-see show.  There is no glam or outrageous stage production, just 2 musicians performing amazing music and sharing the history of it.  Talking Stick Resort Showroom was also a perfect location for this show – it has amazing acoustics and the small venue gives you the feeling of intimacy with the artists.

The setlist included:

  • Set List 1:
  • Bus Stop
  • I Used To Be A King
  • Immigration Man
  • This Path
  • Myself, At Last
  • Just A Song
  • Wind On The Water
  • Wasted On The Way

Set List 2:

  • Simple Man
  • Taken At All
  • Golden Days
  • House Of Broken Dreams
  • Back Home
  • Cathedral
  • Our House
  • Chicago


  • Blackbird
  • Teach Your Children


Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman, you can read more reviews by Fred on BeaneathADesertSky.com.