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JD Souther

Natural History – 2011 (eOne)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by JD Souther

If you were tuned into the pop - rock-'n'-roll scene in the '70's, JD Souther's new release will be a trip down memory lane. His music, as an artist and as a composer, has been heard on and off during the intervening decades, but his greatest popularity was about the same time as the heyday of The Eagles. He disappeared from public view about 1985 and didn't re-surface until 2008.

If you heard Heartache Tonight, Best Of My Love, or New Kid In Town, all Eagles classics, then you were hearing the words of Souther. Co-writing with Eagles Don Henley and Glenn Frey, they produced songs the world sang along with.

On this new CD, Souther has made fresh recordings with stripped down instrumentation so your focus is on his voice, on the melodies, the words. He plays guitar and is backed up by, among others, guitarist Bryan Sutton (Kentucky Thunder member, session guitarist for a variety of bluegrass and country acts), Viktor Krauss (upright bass; brother of Alison Krauss); resophonic guitarist Jerry Douglas and Charlie McCoy, the famous harmonica player performing here on the vibes.

Included are his new recordings of The Eagles hits Best Of My Love and New Kid In Town as well as songs made famous by his former girlfriend, Linda Ronstadt, Faithless Love and Prisoner In Disguise and his own 1979 hit, You're Only Lonely. Comparing this new cut of You're Only Lonely to the original underlines the minimalist approach of this new CD and illustrates how well Souther's voice has stood the test of time.

This is great music from a talented artist and composer, reflections of music that has stayed popular for three decades.