Never mind the pair of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions (Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Hollies) or the Order of the British Empire, Graham Nash remains most acutely interested in now. Within moments, he’s asking questions about the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown where he will perform a concert on July 18.

Having played to over 100,000 people at a time, the idea of the Whaling Church’s intimacy thrills the songwriter; he wants to know about its history and its acoustics. Though more humble than Woodstock or Altamont, the small venue holds a power that Nash recognizes.

“I can look the audience in the eyes, and see the connection,” he marvels. “Because when you make music, you want to know you’ve touched those people. I have a responsibility to the audience. They’ve spent good money to come hear this music. I want to make sure they’re feeling it.”

Graham Nash — entering his third quarter century — has an energy and grace that belies his status as a rock icon. Laughing at the notion, he brushes the obvious fact away with an easy, “I’m not a rock star! I’m a kid from the north of England, outside Manchester, which has had such a hard time of it.

“I’m a very lucky man,” he continues. “I’m 75 years old and still kicking ass. I feel very young inside, very young. I don’t recognize the guy looking at me in the mirror, but inside? Inside, I have the passion. Music is magic. It keeps you alive and engaged.”

Nash has always been a man who burns to be creative. After the Hollies became one of rock-pop’s first big hybrids — Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress, The Air That I Breathe, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother — Nash left to join up with a few songwriters he’d met in the burgeoning LA folk-rock scene. Crosby, Stills, Nash & (sometimes) Young became the harmony-voiced cartographers of youth in an America in upheaval.

Performing at No Nukes Festival with Carly Simon, James Taylor, John Hall. — Peter Simon

Nash’s Teach Your Children, Marrakesh Express and Our House spoke to bucolic Bohemianism, while Woodstock and Ohio harnessed the zeitgeist. Though the tempers and tensions internally made CSNY combustive, the supergroup’s harmonies and sweeping guitars offered an alchemy that allowed them to fill football stadiums in the 1970s. His own Songs for Beginners still stands on its own.

“When I first came to America with the Hollies, we had this sound, lovely harmonies and tracks, even songs. But I just didn’t realize the importance of the lyric,” he says in retrospect. “It hit me when I started coming to America and hanging out with Neil and Steven and David and Joni [Mitchell], I better put better words to these melodies. The lyrics became very important.”

Just as important was the political churning and his dawning awareness. Nash helped form MUSE (Musicians United for Safe Energy) in the 1970s, as well as working for various humanitar

ian causes. In 1978, he became a dual citizen of the UK and the US, “so I could participate. I wanted to vote, praise and criticize this country and be part of it.”

Born during the Second World War, Nash has a strong sense of commitment. His concern about environmental issues, global instability and our current President finds the cadence of words accelerating, as he punches certain syllables for emphasis. With three children, four grandbabies and a fifth on the way, his conviction is personal and ecumenical.

He’s also honed from years of activism into a realist. Without calling anyone self-serving, he is quick to point out, “The earth is in deep, deep serious trouble, but the earth doesn’t give a damn about us. We could all die or blow up, and the earth will go on. So when we’re pushing our placards into the air, saying Save The Earth what we really mean is Save Ourselves. Because that’s what we’re really talking about. And it’s a lot of things: environmental, nuclear, a lack of manners. There’s a real upsurge of people who think very negatively and who are violent.”

A pregnant pause is filled with one collective thought. Before questions about the President can land, the photographer and high-level art printer erupts, “We can’t normalize this Presidency. He’s a maniac. He’s unlearned, and really unhinged.. I’m completely stunned by how far down they’re taking this country, how much they’re undoing in terms of environmental issues, health issues, particularly in terms of women’s issues.”

Where most stars would now pivot and distance, Nash keeps coming. It’s not even the courage of his convictions, so much as a strong sense of right, wrong and being fair. As the conversation continues, he gets more specific. “These white haired men, gathering behind closed doors affecting a health plan? That’s a sixth of our economy, and they’re doing it in secret.”

He finds hope in the rise of town hall meetings, of people getting engaged and calling their legislators, becoming educated about how different things impact their life.

In 2013, Nash published Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life, taking a frank assessment of his life, the road and those he encountered. In 2016, he released This Path Tonight, his first album of new music in 14 years. He got divorced in 2016 and moved to New York, determined to keep living.

“I think love is the answer,” he says about all of it. “If we love first, everything else comes together — for ourselves, our families and friends and everyone else. The hippies had that right. Love is better than hatred, peace is better than war. If you start there, it’s a good beginning... And as a medium of changing people’s minds, of opening their eyes, music has a power. There’s no time to quit, you know? You must keep on.”

He pauses again, realizing the obvious reality of his age. Then he forges on, “I certainly intend to be there, the next 30, 40, 50 years. That’s what I intend, but I don’t know that I will and that’s what makes this so important. From someone banging on a log in a cave, straight through to Lady Gaga, it’s all the same chain. I get to be a link on it. That makes me very grateful.”

Graham Nash performs at the Old Whaling Church on Tuesday, July 18, at 8 p.m. as part of the Martha’s Vineyard Concert Series. The concert is sold out.