Singer-songwriter Graham Nash played to a sold-out crowd at the Old Whaling Church Wednesday night. Mr. Nash performed as part of the Martha’s Vineyard Summer Concert Series, bringing to the Island more than six decades of folk and rock music experience with groups including the Hollies and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

He last performed on the Vineyard in 2017.

Mr. Nash kicked off the evening with quick crowd-pleasers such as the Hollies’ Bus Stop—his first Top Ten hit in the United States—and Marrakesh Express. He recalled writing Marrakesh on a train ride from Casablanca to Marrakesh, where he heard a few American expats, like Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, had set up a poetry scene. It was the first story he told during an evening of music and time-traveling back to the ‘60s and ‘70s.

The evening continued with a cover of The Beatles' A Day in the Life, inflected with Mr. Nash’s folksy, bluesy charm. In a tribute to the people of Ukraine, Mr. Nash and his backing band—one man on guitar and another on keyboard—leaned into a rendition of the Crosby, Stills and Nash hit Find the Cost of Freedom that then moved into his ‘70s single, Military Madness.

Show featured music and stories from Mr. Nash's long career. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Perhaps the highlight of the concert was his rendition of Joni Mitchell’s A Case of You. Mr. Nash had a whirlwind relationship with Ms. Mitchell in the late ‘60s, he said, leading to the hit single Our House. Ms. Mitchell recently played her first concert after a brain aneurysm forced her to relearn to sing and play the guitar. Mr. Nash played A Case of You in her honor.

Mr. Nash acknowledged that the world is in a hard place today. His political setlist certainly reflected this mindset. Songs touched on everything from political violence to the plight of whales. But Mr. Nash said he remains optimistic.

“But you see, I’m English,” he told the audience. “And we made it through two World Wars…. I promise no matter how [bad] it gets out there, we’ll make it through.”

Visit for information on the summer schedule.