When he’s not busy picking fights with next-gen rockers, David Crosby continues to make singular, beautiful music. The folk rock legend has had a prolific run of five solo album releases since 2014, many of them in collaboration with a cadre of younger, progressive, genre-roving musicians — among them, members of Snarky Puppy, Becca Stevens, Cory Henry and his own son, producer James Raymond. Crosby pushes forth with an open mind and spirit (and another cross-generational collaboration) on his latest release: a stirring cover of Joni Mitchell’s “For Free,” featuring singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz on duet vocals.
Crosby and Jarosz offer a performance that feels both weighty and delicate, harmonizing in synchronicity for the full tune. It’s a profound take, and the arrangement — just vocals, plaintive piano and bass — is sparse enough to let the song’s intrinsic beauty shine through. “For Free” is the title track on Crosby’s forthcoming full-length record, due out July 23rd.
Beyond only Crosby’s version, Joni Mitchell’s “For Free” has gotten a surprising amount of mileage as a cover among other newer collaborators in the last year too. The song had a massive appearance as the compelling closing track of Lana Del Rey’s pandemic-era release, Chemtrails over the Country Club, with Zella Day and Weyes Blood joining the fray on additional vocals.