The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley has continually brought our community incredible performers. On the heals of Boz Scaggs and Art Garfunkel, The Center has recently announced that Jackson Browns will be performing on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 8 p.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial Building on South Auburn Street. His career has been a long and successful one. Born in Heidelberg, West Germany, Jackson Browne and his family moved to Los Angeles when he was three years old, and by the time he was a teenager, Browne had developed an interest in folk music. Coming to prominence in the 1970s, Browne has written and recorded songs such as “These Days“, “The Pretender“, “Running on Empty“, “Lawyers in Love“, “Doctor My Eyes“, “Take It Easy“, “For a Rocker“, and “Somebody’s Baby“. In 2004, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.
After graduating in 1966, Browne joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, performing at the Golden Bear (Huntington Beach, California) where they opened for The Lovin’ Spoonful. The band later recorded a number of Browne’s songs, including “These Days”, “Holding”, and “Shadow Dream Song”. He also spent a short time in his friend Pamela Polland‘s band, Gentle Soul. Browne left the Dirt Band after a few months and moved to Greenwich Village, New York, where he became a staff writer for Elektra Records‘ publishing company, Nina Music before his eighteenth birthday. He reported on musical events in New York City with his friends Greg Copeland and Adam Saylor. He spent the remainder of 1967 and 1968 in Greenwich Village, where he backed Tim Buckley and singer Nico of the Velvet Underground. In 1967, Browne and Nico were romantically linked and he became a significant contributor to her debut album, Chelsea Girl, writing and playing guitar on several of the songs (including “These Days“). In 1968, following his breakup with Nico, Browne returned to Los Angeles, where he formed a folk band with Ned Doheny and Jack Wilce, and first met Glenn Frey.
Browne’s first songs, such as “Shadow Dream Song” and “These Days”, were recorded by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tom Rush, Nico, Steve Noonan, Gregg Allman, Joan Baez,Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, the Byrds, and others. Browne did not release his own versions of these early songs until years later. Soon after this, Rolling Stone mentioned Browne as a “new face to look for” and praised his “mind-boggling melodies”.
In 1971, Browne signed with his manager David Geffen‘s Asylum Records and released Jackson Browne (1972) produced and engineered by Richard Orshoff, which included the piano-driven “Doctor My Eyes“, which entered the Top Ten in the US singles chart. “Rock Me on the Water“, from the same album, also gained considerable radio airplay, while “Jamaica Say You Will” and “Song for Adam” (written about his friend Adam Saylor’s death) helped establish Browne’s reputation. Touring to promote the album, he shared the bill with Linda Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell.
His next album, For Everyman (1973) – while considered of high quality – was less successful than his debut album, although it still sold a million copies. The upbeat “Take It Easy“, cowritten with Eagles’ Glenn Frey, had already been a major success for that group, while his own recording of “These Days” reflected a sound representing Browne’s angst.
Jackson Browne, in the years proceeding the 1970’s, have been filled with much political involvement and environmental activism as well as writing and producing more albums. In 2004 he was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A talent like his is a gift. If you’re in the area, treat yourself to an evening of beautiful music.
An Evening with