|Standing in the Breach|
Jackson Browne — Standing in the Breach
¬• The singer/songwriter whose introspective, literate lyrics and laid–back folk–rock set the template for much of Californian music during the '70s.
¬• On a deeply felt folk–rock set, the great singer–songwriter keeps fighting for freedom and love.
Born: October 9, 1948 in Heidelberg, Germany
Location: Los Angeles, California
Album release: October 6, 2014
Record Label: Inside Recordings
01 The Birds of St. Marks 4:22
02 Yeah Yeah 6:14
03 The Long Way Around 6:24
04 Leaving Winslow 3:52
05 If I Could Be Anywhere 7:07
06 You Know the Night 5:31
07 Walls and Doors 6:01
08 Which Side? 6:37
09 Standing In the Breach 5:37
10 Here 4:25
• Jackson Browne 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10
• Jackson Browne / Woody Guthrie / Rob Wasserman 6
• Carlos Varela 7
• Alex Al Bass
• Jay Bellerose Cymbals, Drums (Snare), Percussion, Tambourine
• Jackson Browne Composer, English Translations, Guitar (Ac. + Rhythm), Piano, Producer
• Luis Conte Djembe, Shaker, Tambourine, Udu
• Brandise Danesewich Photography
• Paul Dieter Engineer, Mixing, Producer
• Lori Fletcher Personal Assistant
• Aldo López–Gavilán Piano
• Bob Glaub Bass
• Mark Goldenberg Guitar (Electric)
• Griffin Goldsmith Drums, Tambourine, Vocal Harmony
• Taylor Goldsmith Bass, Vocal Harmony
• Julio Cesar Gonzalez Bass
• David Goodstein Drum Loop
• Woody Guthrie Composer
• Doug Haywood Vocal Harmony
• Don Heffington Drums
• Jim Keltner Drums
• Bil Lane Assistant
• Greg Leisz Guitar (12 String), Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric Baritone), Guitar (Tenor), Lap Steel Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Weissenborn
• Kipp Lennon Vocal Harmony
• Mauricio Lewak Drum Fills, Drums
• Val McCallum Guitar (Baritone), Guitar (Electric), Vocal Harmony
• Kevin McCormick Bass
• Cree Miller Executive Producer
• Donald Miller Executive Producer
• Alethea Mills Vocal Harmony
• Moises Saman Cover Photo
• Dustin Stanton Artwork, Design
• Sebastian Steinberg Bass
• Chavonne Stewart Vocal Harmony
• Benmont Tench Organ (Hammond), Piano
• Pete Thomas Drums
• Mike Thompson Organ (Hammond)
• Rich Tosi Assistant
• Carlos Varela Composer, Guitar (Acoustic), Lyricist, Vocals
• Rob Wasserman Composer
• Tal Wilkenfeld Bass
• Jonathan Wilson Vocal Harmony
• Jeff Young Organ (Hammond)
BY ANTHONY DECURTIS | October 7, 2014 | Score: ****
• On a deeply felt folk–rock set, the great singer–songwriter keeps fighting for freedom and love
¬ "You don't know why, but you still try/For the world you wish to see," Jackson Browne sings on "Standing in the Breach," the title track to his 14th album of new material and his first in six years. It's a characteristic sentiment, one that reaches back to the Seventies, when Browne distinguished himself as one of America's most visionary and important songwriters. In now–classic songs like "For Everyman," "Before the Deluge," "Running on Empty" and "The Pretender," Browne took a hard look at why the values of the Sixties seemed to die for so many people when that decade passed. Those values — freedom, compassion, generosity — remain vibrantly alive for him, and on this superb, inspiring album, he once again stands waiting for everyman: "The change the world needs now," he sings, "is there, in everyone."
What's most compelling about Browne is that he understands how greed and destruction in the public world devastate our private lives, rendering love both more necessary and harder to sustain: "It's hard to say which did more ill/Citizens United or the Gulf oil spill." The 10 songs on Standing play like conversations between lovers trying to reassure each other of their commitment in a world that devalues human connection of any kind in favor of profit. "You think I'm wishing I was some other place," he sings on "Yeah Yeah," "but in fact I'm right here/With my shoulder to the wheel, baby/And my heart in the deal."
¬ Musically, Browne's signature sound remains country–tinged folk rock, infused with the spare elegance of Protestant hymns. "Leaving Winslow," whose title nods slyly to that famed "corner in Winslow, Arizona" that Browne immortalized with co–writer Glenn Frey in "Take It Easy," propels forward on an infectious rockabilly beat, as does "You Know the Night," set to lyrics by Woody Guthrie. The rocker "If I Could Be Anywhere," featuring keyboardist Benmont Tench and drummer Jim Keltner as guests, beautifully fades out on a dreamlike melody that evokes the more–perfect world Browne believes we still can attain.
¬ At 66, Browne has been an activist long enough to realize that his most firmly held ideals may never achieve fruition. But, like John Lennon, he's enough of an artist to understand that imagining the world as it should be is the first step in bringing that world about. However, the next step — doing something — is even more important. "Which side are you on?" Browne asks, quoting the old union anthem. There's only one answer as far as he's concerned, and he makes an eloquent case for it on this album. :: http://www.rollingstone.com/
by Nick DeRiso | August 26, 2014
¬ With Standing in the Breach, Jackson Browne makes a stunningly bold statement of purpose in a moment that might have been more reflective. After all, his very best music was the subject of a celebrated recent tribute album, something that might have left a lesser artist more humbled than ambitious. Not Browne. His first album of new songs since 2008, released on Browne’s own Inside Recordings, finds him working at peak creativity — as a writer, as a performer, as a bandmate.
¬ Standing in the Breach is as layered as it is honest, as reflective as it is determined. Along the way, that takes Browne to places both reliably satisfying, and surprisingly new.
¬ There’s “Yeah Yeah,” which belies its breezy title and chorus as Browne digs deep into a lover’s character study — without ever letting go of this song’s infectious hook. All of that is nicely balanced by “The Long Way Around,” as Browne traces a quieter, more personal shape around criticism of our unthankful modernity. Anyone who bought his first three or four albums will find themselves transported instantly back there.
¬ But the restless Browne isn’t about to sit still. “Leaving Winslow,” at first, seems to follow that anger toward a sharper riff, but we find Browne instead hopping a rattling freight to follow his dreams. Already, the smart interplay between Greg Leisz and Val McCallum, as much as Browne’s pinpoint lyricism, has proven to be the engine that drives Standing in the Breach.
¬ “It Could Be Anywhere” boasts a snappy, Beatlesque cadence, while “You Know the Night” pulls on a pair of dusty boots for an evening of two–stepping reminiscence. ¬ “Walls and Doors,” a meditation on the complexities of freedom, actually ends up giving Browne a chance to grow more introspective still. But then there’s “Which Side,” where Browne marches along in lyrical lockstep with Bob Dylan’s smart and too–often–overlooked “You Gotta Serve Somebody.”
¬ The title track makes a clarion call for service, before “Here” arrives like a splash of 1970s-era Fleetwood Mac sunshine. Then there’s “The Birds of St. Marks,” an advance song of deeply personal beauty. Like “You Know the Night,” that track has been around for some time — but these songs, like Jackson Browne, sound born anew here.
¬ Complex both emotionally and musically, Standing in the Breach is one of the most viscerally present albums in his storied career. Anyone of his vintage, of course, could perhaps be forgiven for looking backward. Browne is instead pushing himself ever forward — aware of the past, willing to reshape it and to build upon it, but ever forward.
¬ On March 14, 2004, Browne was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Bruce Springsteen, and on June 7, 2007 Jackson Browne was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
¬ In 2004, Jackson was named an honorary Doctorate of Music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, for “a remarkable musical career that has successfully combined an intensely personal artistry with a broader vision of social justice.” For "promoting peace and justice through his music and his unrelenting support for that which promotes nonviolent solutions to problems both nationally and internationally", Browne received the Courage of Conscience Awards from The Peace Abbey in Sherborn, Massachusetts.
¬ In 2007, he was awarded the Chapin–World Hunger Year Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award.
¬ In 2008, Browne received the NARM Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award.
¬ In 2002, Browne received the John Steinbeck Award, given to artists who exemplify the environmental and social values that Steinbeck believed in. •
|Standing in the Breach|