Graham Nash knows he won’t live forever. The recent deaths of such peers as David Bowie and Glenn Frey are unnecessary reminders that life is finite, even for legendary rock stars.
The “Nash” in Crosby, Stills & Nash has made the idea that life is precious part of the message of his forthcoming album, “This Path Tonight,” which drops in April. The new album is the most personal of his long career, which began nearly 60 years ago in England.
Nash, who just turned 74, performs Wednesday at Durham’s Carolina Theatre and has a message for those in their twilight years: “Live life to the fullest,” Nash says while calling from Los Angeles. “I think that’s the only way to be. I can’t be happy unless I’m satisfied with things.”
Nash’s 38-year marriage to Susan Sennett recently ended and he’s in love with his girlfriend, Amy Grantham. “I met a wonderful person and I’m crazy about her,” Nash says. “I want to be happy. The rest of my life is very important to me, and I’m going to live my life to the fullest, even at this age. This is no time to give up. It’s about being as happy as I can be. This album is a reflection of my life changing. It’s about having the courage to make changes and be happy.”
The new material, which will be previewed in the Durham show, is revelatory and upbeat. Nash is refreshingly candid and personal in the new work, which is notable since he’s always been a private person.
“That’s the way I always liked it, but I was just so moved and I had to write about this,” Nash says. “I also have to talk about this during interviews. But it’s fine. It’s an exciting time in my life even though it’s at this stage in which I’ve been around for practically three quarters of a century. I’ve been inspired to make this new music.”
Nash will also dig deep into his massive musical canon when he plays the Carolina Theatre. The soft-spoken bard will go back to his days with the Hollies, who formed during the early ’60s, and he’ll include Crosby, Stills & Nash songs, as well as solo material.
“I take a look back at everything and put what I need in there,” Nash says. “People love hearing the Crosby, Stills & Nash songs.”
Fans also love hearing Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. However, the chance for a reunion appears slim after David Crosby called Neil Young’s girlfriend, actress Daryl Hannah, “a purely poisonous predator” in 2014. Young responded by stating the quartet will never reunite.
“I was at Neil’s 70th birthday party (in November), and it was great to see him,” Nash says. “I think he invited me just so I know things are good with he and I. But regarding Neil and David, it’s like brothers who fight. Maybe one says something they don’t mean. A reunion could happen someday. You never know what’s going to happen in the future.”
That type of uncertainty is seen in the ending of Nash’s longtime marriage. “That’s exactly right,” Nash said. “I never would have guessed my life would turn out the way it has, but I have a new life. I have a new girlfriend, a new album and it feels great.”