John David Souther

John David Souther

It’s easy to understand why J.D. Souther joined The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band after his eponymous solo debut LP failed to ignite upon its 1972 release. It wasn’t the songs’ fault; The Eagles even covered “How Long” on their 2007 album Long Road out of Eden. But Souther was signed to David Geffen’s imprint Asylum Records around the same time as The Eagles, Jackson Browne, Judee Sill, David Blue, and Jo Jo Gunne, so it’s safe (yet sad) to say he fell between the cracks of the label’s roster. But with Glenn Frey playing guitar and piano alongside Gib Guilbeau’s fiddle and a good grip of other studio guns, songs like the opening “The Fast One” play like early Eagles gems. The rootsy serenades “Run Like a Thief” and "Jesus in 3/4 Time" both sound like what might have happened had Gram Parsons lived a healthy and productive life (especially the latter tune, with its high/lonesome harmonies and successful fusion of gospel, country, and rock indicative of the time). “Kite Woman” is like “Peaceful Easy Feeling” with troubled lyrics about a lover’s drug addiction.

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