After a stint in prison, David Crosby (guitar/vocals) emerged from his year-long incarceration a completely clean and sober (gasp!) man. His revitalization was marked by a period of unbridled creativity, yielding his second solo effort Oh Yes I Can (1989). Crosby was supporting the album during the spring 1989 tour that produced the material on this disc. The set was recorded live at the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia and backed by a powerhouse combo that included longtime CSN bandmate Michael Finnigan (keyboards), Dan Dugmore (guitar), Jody Cortez (drums), and Davey Farragher (bass/vocals). Indeed, abstemiousness suits Crosby as his powerful, emotive vocals, and strident fretwork have rarely been as well defined or as energetic as they are here. The show begins with an acoustic setting on the opening pairing of "Tracks in the Dust" and one of the most hauntingly beautiful readings of "Guinnevere" to have ever been committed to tape. The same is especially true of "Compass," which was the first song Crosby wrote after sobriety had kicked in. His lyrical metaphors remain as poignant as his vocals are honey-glistened. In addition to other new tunes such as "Lady of the Harbor," the edgy rocker "Monkey and the Underdog," and the title track from Oh Yes I Can, Crosby regales older material with the wisdom of Solomon. "In My Dream," "Wooden Ships," and "Delta" all reveal an underscored exquisiteness that had been formerly obscured by substance abuse. He likewise drives home "Almost Cut My Hair" and "Déja Vu" with the same cocksure attitude of the originals and more than a hint of grunge rock ethos thrown in for good measure.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer