Author: Dave Marsh
Journal: Rolling Stone
Date: February 9th 1978

SINCE DAVID CROSBY and Graham Nash have recorded only three albums together (not counting their contributions to the Crosby, Stills Nash and Young partnership), a live LP from them might seem pointless. Indeed, a reprise of previously recorded material – i.e., the best and bulk of this album – would certainly be unnecessary if harmonies and songs were the only items of interest. But Live has an added advantage because it showcases the finest stage band to emerge from the Southern California rock scene.

Crosby and Nash are still the focus, of course, but their singing and guitar work are more effective because of the support. Russ Kunkel’s drumming and Danny Kortchmar’s guitar drive “Immigration Man,” Nash’s best song on Live, harder than the original, while David Lindley’s beautiful violin accompaniment makes Nash’s ”Simple Man.” and Crosby’s lengthy, obtuse odes to natural forces (“Leeshore,” for instance) are far more accessible when heard against Craig Doerge’s keyboard playing and the Kunkel/Tim Drummond rhythm section.

As sessionmen behind various singer/songwriters, these players have rarely had this much space in which to stretch out, and all of them, particularly the brilliant Lindley and Kunkel, use the space to great advantage. This isn’t meant to slight Crosby and Nash, whose work is as idiosyncratic and evocative as ever. But, for this record at least, it’s the men behind the stars who shine.

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