JD Souther Revisited

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JD Souther – Photo Jim Jacob

THREE JD SOUTHER ALBUMS,
JOHN DAVID SOUTHER
BLACK ROSE
HOME BY DAWN
RECEIVE EXPANDED EDITION REISSUES

John David Souther, or JD Souther, is probably best known as writer of hit songs for The Eagles and Linda Ronstadt.

I saw Souther in Nashville this past September at the Americana Festival and it was a revelation.  A fine singer, songwriter and polished performer with a new album (Tenderness), he’s also an accomplished actor and has been inducted into The Songwriters’ Hall Of Fame.


While his own albums failed to gain much commercial traction at the time, three of his releases are been given the royal treatment and will be reissued in extended versions by Omnivore Recordings, with the debut album —John David Souther — set for a January 8 2016 release while Black Rose and Souther’s sole 1980’s album, Home by Dawn, will be available on February 12 2016,

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Before he was co-writing #1 Eagles hits like “Best of My Love,” “New Kid in Town,” and “Heartache Tonight” with Glenn Frey and Don Henley, Souther formed Longbranch/Pennywhistle with Frey when they were roommates.  Their downstairs neighbour was none other than Jackson Browne, who took Souther to audition for his boss, David Geffen, who had recently formed the Asylum Records label.  After hearing two songs, Geffen told Souther to “go make a record.”

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John David Souther arrived in 1971, and was immediately a critical success, featuring ten originals — including “Run Like a Thief” (covered by Bonnie Raitt) and “How Long” (later recorded by The Eagles).  The re-release has added seven previously unissued bonus tracks.

After his impressive debut, Souther worked with Chris Hillman (Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers) and Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco) in the short-lived Souther/Hillman/Furay Band, which yielded two Asylum LPs, The SHF Band and Trouble in Paradise.

jd souther black rose

Five years after John David Souther, Black Rose appeared.  Helmed by Peter Asher, the album featured an all-star cast –  Lowell George (Little Feat), Joe Walsh, Waddy Wachtel, Jim Keltner, Andrew Gold, Russ Kunkel, Donald Byrd, and Stanley Clarke — with David Crosby, Art Garfunkel, Don Henley and Glenn Frey adding their voices.  Linda Ronstadt had previously recorded one of its tracks “Faithless Love” on her breakthrough Heart Like a Wheel album, and would tackle “Simple Man, Simple Dream” in 1977 — even basing that year’s album title and her 2014 memoir Simple Dreams on the song.

This expanded edition of Black Rose will contain seven bonus tracks including six previously unissued live performances and demos.

Black Rose was an ambitious undertaking, and it took a long time,” Souther states in the new liner notes. “I wanted to use more of my musical influences, and I had to dig a bit deeper. But when we were finished, I was almost as pleased with it as if it had sold a million copies. Almost.”

After hitting the Top Ten twice with “You’re Only Lonely” and his duet with James Taylor, “Her Town Too,” Souther released his only album of the 1980s — Home by Dawn.

jd souther home by dawnAs Souther took distinctive creative turns with each release, Home by Dawn emerged at the beginning of the new wave of country music and The Dixie Chicks later covered “I’ll Take Care of You” on their hit album Wide Open Spaces.  For its Omnivore reissue, the album’s original nine songs are joined by four bonus tracks — a demo of “I’ll Take Care of You,” two outtakes from the original sessions and his Urban Cowboy duet with Ronstadt, “Hearts Against the Wind.”

All three reissues feature expanded artwork, and new liner notes by Scott Schinder, based on recent interviews with Souther.

As well as those artists already mentioned, to date his writing has been recorded by other artists as diverse as Hugh Masekela, Tricia Yearwood, Raul Malo, Bernadette Peters, Brooks and Dunn, Glen Campbell, S.H.E., Michael Bublé and India Irie.

John David Souther track listing:

The Fast One
Run Like a Thief
Jesus in 3/4 Time
Kite Woman
Some People Call It Music
White Wing
It’s the Same
How Long
Out to Sea
Lullaby
Bonus Tracks: 

Kite Woman (Alternate Version)
Jesus in 3/4 Time (Demo)
The Fast One (Demo)
Run Like a Thief (Demo)
How Long (Demo)
One in the Middle (Demo)

Silver Blue (Demo)

Black Rose Track Listing:

Banging My Head Against the Moon
If You Have Crying Eyes
Your Turn Now
Faithless Love
Baby Come Home
Simple Man, Simple Dream
Silver Blue
Midnight Prowl
Doors Swing Open
Black Rose
Bonus Tracks:
Faithless Love (Live)
Songs of Love (Band Demo)
Can Almost See It (Demo)
Cheek to Cheek – Lowell George
Border Town (Solo Demo)
Texas Nights and Mexican Moons (instrumental piano demo)

Songs of Love (Solo Demo)

Home by Dawn Track Listing:
Home by Dawn

Go Ahead and Rain
Say You Will
I’ll Take Care of You
All for You
Night
Don’t Know What I’m Gonna Do
Bad News
All I Want
Bonus Tracks: 
Hearts Against the Wind –
Linda Ronstadt/JD Souther
I’ll Take Care of You (Demo)
Little Girl Blue

Girls All Over the World

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Photo Jim Jacob

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Author: Rob Dickens

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