With the upcoming collection Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne, one of the West Coast’s finest songwriters is getting his proper due from talented friends and admirers.
For example, Paul Thorn’s reverence is immediately obvious in his commanding version of “Doctor My Eyes,” a smart pop hit from Browne’s self-titled 1972 album. Of course, one of Browne’s musical strengths is tapping into complicated emotions, making them seem personal and universal at the same time. Plus, he’s a master of melody, so even if you haven’t heard these songs in 30 or 40 years, you’ll likely remember how they go.
“Growing up in Mississippi, Jackson Browne’s music was a big part of the soundtrack of my youth. ‘Doctor My Eyes’ was all over the radio and it really stuck in my head,” says Thorn, who applies his rich R&B vocal and unmistakable groove to the tune.
Like many listeners, Thorn says Browne’s songs have the power to take him back in time, where music and memory are inseparable.
“Songs like ‘Somebody’s Baby’ really spoke to me when I thought about all the pretty girls in high school who wouldn’t give me the time of day,” Thorn recalls. “Later in my life, ‘I’m Alive’ really helped me through some hard time when I was dealing with a broken heart. I am honored to be a small part of this great project. God Bless You.”
Beautiful and sincere, the collection gathers A-list stars like Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett, as well as acolytes like the band Venice, who submit an exquisite version of “For a Dancer.” Other highlights include Keb Mo’s thoughtful “Rock Me on the Water” and the Indigo Girls’ heartfelt “Fountains of Sorrow.”
The project was conceptualized by businessman Kelcy Warren of Dallas, who built his fortune in natural gas distribution. An unabashed Browne fan, Warren also owns the label that’s putting out the release. Although Browne wasn’t directly involved with the tribute, he has stated that he’s honored by it. As well he should be.
Look for Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne on April 1 on Music Road Records. Check out the CMT Edge premiere of Paul Thorn’s “Doctor My Eyes.”