We do admit it upfront that few of us in Streamabout are hardcore fans of Jackson Browne but rather possibly, 'admire him from a distance'. That said, having heard this Album this week, that's changing. We've actually started to look at his live gig tickets and back catalogue - this Album is that good.
We'd all have the 'Running on Empty' and 'Pretender' (reflecting on the suicide of his first wife) Albums and of course, really familiar with his work with The Eagles.
Very American stuff but what you might not know, is that he's actually German! Son of a GI stationed there.
But above all, Jackson wrote what has to be one of the great classics. It's on 'Running on Empty' and the last 2 tracks - 'The Load Out' and then it runs into 'Stay'. If you haven't heard it, just stop now and do it. It will stay with you for life. "Now the seats are all empty, let the roadies take the stage....we got Richard Pryor on the video..." here you go.
Apart from being a well love classic (and trust us, it is), what's also interesting that the vocals on the song (from 1977) include David Lindley (violin and guitar too) and that's who we see on this 'Love is Strange' record sharing the cover pic. In fact if you watched that last clip, you'll see Lindley playing the slide guitar in it.
'Love is Strange' is a live album from 2010 but documents a Spanish tour from 2006. So it's very Spanish and in that way, very very charming.
Really interesting stuff and to be honest, feels like Irish folk music in parts with a little zydeco, in other parts it Spanish flamenco. And although these are his well known songs, they sound totally different.
Very folky, guitar driven in a way not unlike Ry Cooder. But it's a big record that has so much going on, it's quite stunning.
The opener 'I'm Alive' sets the tone, a beautiful thing and 'Your Bright Baby Blues' features some magnificent Spanish guitar that lets you float and lose yourself, just as say, Van would. You listen, you close your eyes.
'These Days' is about as deep Irish trad as you can get with a very Spanishy vocal by Luz Casal a very well known Spanish singer, 'Running on Empty' sounds American "John Cougar" traditional while the title track 'Love is Strange' has a 50's "Frankie Valli" tune style. Even 'Take it Easy' (which we generally hate because it's overplayed) sounds well and that's done in a zydeco way.
There's so much in here, layer after layer, that's it's so worth it. It's an ideal Christmas listen too, very calm, very beautiful. And you'll change the way you think about Jackson Browne for sure. We did. Little piece of magic.
And here's Browne singing himself 'Bright Baby Blues'.