Jackson Browne in concert this weekend. Recorded in Atwood Hall at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts on March 13, 1974. Browne is joined by a stellar lineup, including David Lindley on violin, Andrew Gold on Guitar and backing vocals, Kenny Edwards on bass and a guest appearance by the inimitable Linda Ronstadt.
Jackson Browne came to epitomize the laid-back West Coast sound in the early 1970s. With Asylum Records label-mates Linda Ronstadt, The Eagles, J.D.Souther, Andrew Gold and many others, they were the staple in the diets of most FM stations at the time, also crossing over into the mainstream and becoming massive successes the audiences for most of the decade and well after.
It was that mixture of Rock, Country, Folk and Bluegrass, along with highly evocative lyrics which were synonymous with the perceived West Coast lifestyle that made it so attractive to people in other parts of the country – particularly in the Winter. But it also became something of a antidote to the complex nature of Prog-rock, or the burgeoning worlds of head-banging Heavy Metal and Arena Rock, which left many mainstream audiences and fans just looking for simpler, straight-forward music – nothing that asked too much more than a good time and hummable tunes.
With the exception of a few members of this illustrious society, the genre is still going strong. The Eagles are still filling arenas and Jackson Browne is still touring and recording.
But for those of you who came to this area of Pop music late, or who have foggy recollections of it during its heyday, here is a reminder, and the guest appearance by the great Linda Ronstadt is worth of price of admission alone.
The mix is strange at first – with Lindley’s violin taking a prominent, if not over-bearing place in the proceedings. But it calms down after a bit – and with almost 80 minutes of music, there is much to enjoy.