JD Souther - Provided the musical tapestry, which the West Coast Country-Rock scene dipped into.
JD Souther – Provided the poetic tapestry, which the West Coast Country-Rock scene dipped into.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – JD Souther – Live At The Troubadour – August 4, 1978 – Soundbooth tape.

For all that the West Coast Folk/Rock/Country scene of the early 1970s was noted for its sound, it was probably better known for its quality of song writing, which was a trademark for the genre. Songs that spoke of human conditions and circumstances – of cautious joys and unending sorrows – songs that were about something, songs which painted pictures and conveyed feelings to the audience.

One of those writers, whose work became the staple for a number of bands and artists in this genre was John David Souther. J.D. Souther, as he was known, was actually not one of the born-and-bred Californians, but was originally from Detroit and raised in Amarillo Texas. His early work was influenced by Roy Orbison, and shortly after relocating to Los Angeles in the late 1960s, fell in with a group of musicians who would form the nucleus of the West Coast Laid-Back Sound.

After collaborating on a number of hits for, among others, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Brown and Glenn Frey (of The Eagles), Souther and Frey formed a short-lived duo, Longbranch Penneywhistle. They recorded one album before Frey went off to co-found The Eagles. Souther was then briefly joined by former Byrds founder Chris Hillman and former Poco founder Richie Furay to form another short-lived band Souther, Hillman and Furay.

After SHF dissolved, Souther went on to collaborate with a number of other artists while also pursuing a solo career.

This concert, recorded at The Troubadour on August 4, 1978 comes just before he scored his biggest hit, You’re Only Lonely. The audience at The Troubadour, the legendary West Hollywood club which provided the springboard for so many of Souther’s contemporaries, is suitably excited and the show has a gathering-of-old-friends quality about it.

Souther is still highly active, adding Film and TV acting to his ever-growing list of accomplishments. Sadly, I wasn’t able to find a suitable live recording of Souther, Hillman and Furay (only not-good audience recordings), and this concert comes just a bit later than what we’re been running so far this week (from the 1972-1974 period). But Souther was, and continues to be, such a legendary figure that, just about any concert from the 70s would be a great example of the work of this legendary artist. And this one sounds particularly good.

So crank it up and give a listen if you aren’t familiar – settle back and dive in if you are.

Either way; enjoy.

Liked it? Take a second to support gordonskene on Patreon!