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Stills to tour solo briefly before CSNY reunion

Promoting ’05 album ‘Man Alive!’ — audiences will drive shows’ set lists
/ Source: Billboard

As Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young plan for their first tour in four years, Stephen Stills is slotting in a quick solo trek this month to promote his 2005 album, "Man Alive!"

"We have a really interesting show," Stills told Billboard.com. "It's very old school, like what I used to do. We play 'Helplessly Hoping' with the band and then they leave and I'm out there for 45 minutes by myself with a songbook and basically the vibe of the crowd is going to tell me which ones to play. We'll kind of make it up. It will be a little different every night."

That songbook is filled with more than 300 titles, allowing Stills to cherry pick from his entire career. Joining him on stage will be longtime drummer/collaborator Joe Vitale, as well as organist Mike Finnigan and bassist Kevin McCormick.

Stills said he expects to bookend this mini 11-day, six-show tour, which begins Wednesday in Minneapolis, with a West Coast swing in the fall. A concert DVD release is due out later this year.

"('Man Alive!') was specifically designed to be able to play live," Stills said. "I wanted lots of air. It'll be the easiest DVD because a lot of the vocal performances were live."

While a few of the new album's tracks were played during CSN's tour last year, Stills said, "Because there were too many people on the stage, we couldn't get close to the groove."

As for the CSNY Freedom of Speech trek, which kicks off July 6 near Philadelphia, Stills said the outfit was hoping to hit the road a few years ago but Neil Young's 2003 "Greendale" album kept the foursome from touring at that time.

There was also talk of a new CSNY project but as Stills revealed, "Neil turns around and gets hopping mad and says, 'You have to come up and play with me when you get back from vacation' ... And by the time I got back from 10 days in Mexico, he had not only written enough for a new album, he had recorded a new album ('Living With War'). God bless him. I've read the lyrics and he's right on the money."

Stills has a politically charged song of his own that he may put out to coincide with the Freedom of Speech tour. "It's called 'Cry Traitor,' which I may just let the Internet take because it fits with the theme of the tour," Stills said. "'So you wanna cry traitor every time we disagree.' That's what they tend to do."