The friendship between Jackson Browne and David Lindley is one that has lasted four decades. It’s impossible to untangle Lindley’s contributions to Browne’s earlier music from the lasting influence that extended into the rest of Browne’s career. So it seems right that—at this stage of the game, with Lindley’s mutton chops being white and Browne’s recent beard making him look like Grandpa Browne (thankfully, he has shaved)—these two reunite for what they’ve dubbed the “Show Me the Polyester Tour.” Lindley’s wardrobe contributes to the moniker, and he wears it well: Flood-length, green polyester pants, anyone?
What’s the impetus for these shows? Rewind back to 2006, when the duo recorded a series of shows in Spain that they recently released as an album called Love Is Strange: En Vivo Con Tino. On the heels of this live release, Browne has packed up Lindley—along with his ouds, violins, pedal steels and bouzoukis—to showcase some of Lindley’s many stringed talents. The result is a delightful addition to Browne’s already-superb and faithful band of 20 years. And we can’t forget about the soulful newer backing vocalists. Browne found these lovely ladies via a mentoring program at a South L.A. high school choir.
When Browne and Lindley take the stage together at the beginning of the show, it’s likely they’ll deliver a one-two punch of cover songs from Warren Zevon and Bruce Springsteen. But don’t expect “Werewolves of London” or “Born to Run.” The acoustic, 40-minute-or-so opening set spotlights Lindley playing the dazzling array of instruments from around the world that I mentioned above. His wry humor manifests in songs like “Catfood Sandwiches” and “When a Guy Gets Boobs.” The potential for setlist revamping is huge in this segment of the show.
After an intermission, Browne and his band, with Lindley in tow, will deliver a swoon-worthy set that could include “Fountain of Sorrow,” “In the Shape of a Heart,” “For Everyman” and other assorted forays into Browne’s glorious past. Requests from the audience often wrangle their way into his shows also. Insert several songs from the newest studio album, Time the Conqueror, and you’ve got yourself a 20-plus-song, almost-three-hour show. Sprinkled throughout is casual conversation, and Browne is sure to mention at least one of his many humanitarian/political/ecological causes.
Jackson Browne and David Lindley together again. As it should be!
Where: The Borgata Event Center, Atlantic City, N.J.
When: Sept. 4-5, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $56-$76. Visit theborgata.com.
Where: Tower Theatre in Upper Darby.
When: Sept. 11, 8 p.m.
Tickets: Sold out.
For Debbi Calton’s WMGK radio interview with Jackson Browne and David Lindley, click here.