David Crosby Announces New Album, For Free, Shares First Single, River Rise (feat. Michael McDonald)

David Crosby
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

David Crosby has revealed details of his upcoming eighth studio album, For Free, and shared its first single, River Rise.

An instantly catchy folk number, the track sees Crosby pair up with Michael McDonald, trading lead vocal lines with the Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers man over the top of a primarily acoustic guitar-driven arrangement. Listen to it below:

Produced by Crosby's son James Raymond, the album also features a host of other artists, including Donald Fagen – also of Steely Dan – and the multi-Grammy Award-winning Sarah Jarosz, as well as a number of musicians who appeared on Crosby's 2017 album Sky Trails, like saxophonist Steve Tavaglione and drummer Steve DiStanislao.

Says Raymond: “River Rise came from wanting to write something very evocative of California, but almost with a country-song perspective – something that speaks to the empowerment of the everyman or everywoman.”

The album is so titled as it features a cover of Joni Mitchell's For Free, taken from her 1970 record, Ladies of the Canyon

“Joni's the greatest living singer-songwriter, and For Free is one of her simplest,” Crosby says. “It’s one of my favorite songs because I love what it says about the spirit of music and what compels you to play.”

On the track Donald Fagen penned exclusively for the record, Crosby explains: “Steely Dan's my favorite band and I've admired Donald a long time, so that was a thrill for us.”

David Crosby's new album For Free arrives July 23 via BMG.

Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.