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Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne has been both an introspective, cerebral songwriter and a politically attuned voice of conscience. He emerged in the early Seventies as a soul-baring young folksinger whose songs dealt with riddles of romance and existence. In his middle period he became a more extroverted rock and roller. Later work grew more topical in nature as Browne sang of political and social realities within and beyond our borders. “In a way, I don’t choose what I write about - my subjects kind of choose me,” this vanguard singer/songwriter explained in 1993. “It’s a healing thing, a way of confronting what’s important in my life at the time.”

Though he was born on a German army base, Browne has lived in Southern California virtually all his life. He was only 23 when he released the auspicious debut album, Jackson Browne (Saturate Before Using). Yet he’d been making waves as a songwriter for seven years. As an Orange County high- schooler, he fell in with a folksinging clique that included Tim Buckley, Steve Noonan and Greg Copeland. In 1967 he ventured to New York, brushing against Andy Warhol’s scene and befriending Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed. A publishing deal with Elektra Records led to demo recordings of 30 original songs. During this period, other performers discovered his material. Browne seemed far wiser than his years on such early gems as “These Days” and “Shadow Dream Song,” which were recorded by Tom Rush, Nico, Gregg Allman and others.

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