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Jackson Browne Brings Hall of Fame Performance to Santa Barbara

Singer-songwriter wows crowds with old an new material

Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne featured both old and new material in his Santa Barbara Bowl performance.
Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne featured both old and new material in his Santa Barbara Bowl performance. (Steve Kennedy photo)

“If I could be anywhere, I would be here, now” – Jackson Browne.

On an absolutely beautiful warm summer evening, Santa Barbara resident and local activist Jackson Browne took the stage Aug. 18 at the Santa Barbara Bowl.

“All his dreams begin and end there.”

His songs and lyrics have been woven into the American music psyche for over 40 years. His induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 2004 and his subsequent addition to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2007, have cemented him as one of the great song writers of his generation.

The Santa Barbara fans, including local celebrities David Crosby and Jeff Bridges, gave Browne a warm welcome as he opened the show with “Barricades of Heaven” from the 1996 album “Looking East”.

Click to view larger
(Steve Kennedy photo)

The first set included songs “The Long Way Round” and “You Know the Night” (a Woody Guthrie song reworked by Jackson and featured on his latest studio album, “Standing in the Breach”).

After a short 15 minute set break, Browne kicked back into the second set with opener “Your Bright Baby Blues” from the 1976 Pretender album.

The second set moved freely from old material to new. He proudly exclaimed “I love this band!” when talking about his current backup band.

Browne showed his diversity while playing many different guitars throughout the show. However, he may be most comfortable behind the black and white ivories of the piano.

Click to view larger
(Steve Kennedy photo)

His ability to weave deeply personal emotions and warm honest imagery is clearly evident as he plays and sings an effortless dialect of transcendent verses.

This show was a fundraiser for Sanctuary Centers of Santa Barbara. Sanctuary House is a residential program for people who do not need psychiatric hospitalization but who are unable to live independently. For more information, visit www.spcsb.org.

Browne is known for his charity work and political activism, including working for environmental reform and helping earthquake survivors in Haiti. This was highlighted by his moving story and song, “Standing in the Breach”.

Finally, the show moved into a thrilling conclusion, with Browne playing some of his greatest hits, including “The Pretender”, “Doctor My Eyes” and the set closer “Running on Empty”.

After a huge round of support from the local faithful, he played the encore that featured “Take It Easy”, which he co-wrote with Eagles front man Glenn Frey, and “The Load Out”, an anthem to every touring band.

A full house at the Santa Barbara Bowl enjoyed a performance by singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. Click to view larger
A full house at the Santa Barbara Bowl enjoyed a performance by singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. (Steve Kennedy photo)

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