Jackson Browne Restores Live Music at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Hollister Ranch Rocker Offers Up the Old and the New

Jackson Browne at the Santa Barbara Bowl on Sunday, September 5. | Credit: Erick Madrid

In a case of poetic cultural justice, last weekend’s grand reemergence of live music in major venues — breaking the pandemic-mandated silence — was a win-win for the hometown team. Santa Barbara–born Toad the Wet Sprocket pulled a double-header at the Lobero, while longtime part-time Hollister Rancher Jackson Browne kicked off the truncated Santa Barbara Bowl season in high, cozy style on Sunday.

Jackson Browne | Credit: Erick Madrid

Elements defining the 72-year-old Browne remain, with his bounty of crowd favorites (including “Fountain of Sorrow,” “The Pretender,” the hedonistic candy of “Take it Easy,” and his masterpiece “These Days”), social and navel-gazing issues, and an expanding, impressive discography. From his bold new album came the title track, the ocean homage “Downhill from Everywhere” and the age-related tease of “My Cleveland Heart.” 

Browne cherishes and showcases his bandmates and even the crew (consider the “The Load-Out”/”Stay,” this show’s closer). His current band is extra-potent thanks to his excellent, almost impossibly tasty guitarist Val McCallum and pedal steel/lap steel poet Greg Leisz (also from Santa Barbara County), whose flavorful additions make him heir apparent to former Browne foil David Lindley. 

I have a sentimental soft spot for Browne’s feel-good brew partly due to countless encounters at the Bowl, going back to the late ’70s. Chalk up another warm-fuzzy one for the home team.

Support the Santa Barbara Independent through a long-term or a single contribution.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.