Today is veteran’s day, and I got to thinking about my Dad who fought in World War Two, liberating the concentration camps of Buchenwald and Dachau. I have a photo album from his wartime experiences and the pictures of the concentration camps are truly memorable. After viewing them, I will never forget man’s capability for evil. I wasn’t quite the “good soldier” when the draft came to go off to Viet Nam. Fortunately, I have a severe case of asthma that kept me stateside. But as I drove to work today, I heard Stephen Stills song Treetop Flyer, and thought of my Dad, one of the “Greatest Generation” whereas I was one of the draft dodging generation. So, tonight, I’m featuring Stephen Stills in honor of all those veterans who’ve fought whether they wanted to or not.
Stills was born on January 3, 1945 and is an incredible musician best known for his work with Buffalo Springfield (Something’s Happening Here), and Crosby, Stills, & Nash (and later, Young). He’s maintained a solo career of late, although there have been several CS&N reunions. Stills was ranked #28 in rolling Stone’s 2003 list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". In spite of that, I think he’s underrated. His use of altered tunings and a fabulous fingerstyle made him one of my favorites back in my college days. Stills became the first person to be inducted twice on the same night into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with CSN and Buffalo Springfield.
His raspy voice lends itself well to his acoustic folk/blues style and matches perfectly with his guitar. Make sure you check out Treetop Flyer and Crossroads. But if you’re my age (59 tomorrow) and care for a bit of nostalgia, go straight to his compositions with CS&N and listen to Carry On, Long Time Coming, Woodstock, and, of course, Suite Judy Blue eyes. I’m sure you’ll enjoy him.
Treetop Flyer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUmIO_MG5IU
Crossroads/You can’t catch me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3_x2I8FQ8Q
Helplessly hoping: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PA2W1SZejc4&feature=related
Do for others: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OSaIUKi8p4
It won’t go away: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0nu_TEhkbk
Thoroughfare gap: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9T5B8Dqi6Y
Stateline blues: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiIYYQO7fXk&feature=related
Daylight again/Find the cost of freedom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb-_fjHHmLI&feature=related
Long time coming: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5Dt0_zAcHo&feature=related
Suite Judy Blue Eyes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzF_MoXOU1E
Stephen’s music pairs well with a 2009 Three Zinfandel Evangelho Contra Costa County ($18.00). This Zin is sourced from ancient vineyards in Contra Costa County and is a blend of 76% Zinfandel, 12% Petite Sirah, 6% Carignane, 4% Mataro, and 2% Alicante Bouschet.
The wine is purple-black in color with explosive aromas of blackberry, plum, coffee and a touch of chocolate. It’s a mouth filling wine with a sleek and refined texture. Soft tannins lead to a very long berry and coffee finish. A very nice wine to go with the music of Stephen Stills. Enjoy!