“Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne” was released in April. The two disk set features a dazzling array of artists including the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Lyle Lovett, Keb’ Mo’ and Bruce Springsteen. But honestly, doing Jackson Browne songs anywhere near as well as Jackson Browne is tough even for these titans. So, covers of lesser known songs are among the most enjoyable. Two tracks from Browne’s fourth album “The Pretender” get that treatment: Sara and Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek covering “Your Bright Baby Blues”, and Springsteen accompanied by his wife, Patti Scialfa, covering “Linda Paloma”.
Just last week a 40th Anniversary Reissue of Browne’s third album “Late for the Sky” was released. We featured the title track from that album in an earlier post, so here’s “The Late Show” which provides the “early model Chevrolet” lyric that ties to the album’s cover art. The song has all the ingredients: deep lyrics, pure Jackson Browne voice, beautiful vocal harmonies and David Lindley steel guitar, found in so much of Browne’s work.
The trio of Sara Watkins, brother Sean Watkins, and Chris Thile formed Nickel Creek in 1989, and after polishing their sound for a decade, won a slew of Grammy, CMA and other awards between 2000 and 2005. The band made its farewell tour in 2007, with the members pursuing their individual careers since.
Chris Thile pulled together a fantastic string quartet that included Yo Yo Ma for the Grammy-winning “Goat Rodeo Sessions” released in 2012. The perfectly synchronized vocals of Thile and Aiofe O’Donovan on “Here and Heaven” are incredible, and pay close attention to see if you can figure out when the members of the quartet switch instruments.
2012 also saw Sara release her second solo effort, “Sun Midnight Sun”, which she supported by touring with Jackson Browne that summer. Here’s the video for “You and Me”, released in April 2013.
In case you hadn’t heard much of Nickel Creek back in the day, here is a track from their eponymous third album released in 2000. The album was produced by Alison Krauss and launched the trio’s big run.
And since we’ve mentioned her name, we can’t end without adding something from the exquisite Alison Krauss and her all-star band, Union Station.