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Running on Empty


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Performer Notes
  • Also available with JACKSON BROWNE (SATURATE BEFORE USING) on 1 cassette.
  • Personnel: Jackson Browne (vocals, guitar); Danny Kortchmar (guitar); David Lindley (lap steel guitar, fiddle); Craid Doerge (keyboards); Leland Sklar (bass); Russ Kunkel (drums); Doug Haywood, Rosemary Butler (background vocals).
  • Recorded live in 1977.
  • Personnel: Jackson Browne (vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards); David Lindley (vocals, guitar, steel guitar, lap steel guitar, violin, fiddle); Danny Kortchmar (vocals, guitar, percussion); Doug Haywood, Jon Douglas Haywood, Rosemary Butler, Joel Bernstein (vocals); Craig Doerge (keyboards); Russ Kunkel (drums, snare drum, hi-hat).
  • Recording information: Cross Keys Inn, Columbia, MD (08/17/1977-09/17/1977); Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD (08/17/1977-09/17/1977); Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Sara (08/17/1977-09/17/1977).
  • An audacious concept album about life on the road, this is a mix of in concert performances and informal sessions taped in various hotel rooms (see "Shaky Town," although it's hard to believe that Browne, by then a major star, was actually staying at a Holiday Inn). It's very '70s--the overall aura of cocaine-fueled decadence is almost palpable--but it works far better than you'd expect, and the songs are consistently memorable, even if Browne didn't write them all.
  • High points include a stunning half hotel/half concert version of Danny O'Keefe's "The Road," still the best song ever written about the life of a travelling musician, and the closing medley of the roadie anthem "The Load-Out" and Maurice Williams and the Zodiac's doo-wop classic "Stay." The hard rocking title tune features typically lyrical yet stinging slide guitar from long time associate David Lindley.
Professional Reviews
Uncut (p.88) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "At the center, in splendid isolation from the surrounding cast of characters, are Browne's boyishly earnest voice and its constant shadow throughout the decade: the keening lap-steel and doleful violin of David Lindley."

Dirty Linen (p.63) - "Writing rock songs about life on the road has long been a cliche, but the topic was never treated with such verve and condor as it was on Jackson Browne's 1977 album RUNNING ON EMPTY..."
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