Playing acoustic concerts comes naturally to Jackson Browne. But that doesn't mean the veteran singer-songwriter finds it easier than doing a show with his full band.
"It's as demanding a thing as I've ever done," explains Browne, 64. "But it's very satisfying for me, too. I always felt as a writer that the songs are their own event. They have always sort of existed outside of that question of how to play them.
"I'm very fortunate in that I met a lot of great players and they graced my records with great playing, and each band has played them in the way that they played them. But it's most important to me that they still work when you strip them down all the way."
Browne says it was his London-based worldwide touring agent who came up with the idea of solo acoustic shows, a concept Browne says he "really had to think about" when it was first presented. Having done it for a number of years now, however, he enjoys alternating those with his plugged-in band dates. .
"Initially I figured, 'Well, this'll be a pretty short show,' and they turn out to be longer than the other shows because of just the intimacy that is generated by the people coming," Browne explains. "They know those songs and know what they want to hear. And you can say, 'Well, I don't remember that one' or 'I don't think I've ever sung that one,' but they'll go, 'Oh, come on!' and off you go.
"It's developed this vibe of, 'What difference does it make? Try it!' And even if you only remember half of it, people are happy just to see you try. It's like you're playing for people in your house after dinner or something. It's very nourishing for me, and I really enjoy it."
Jackson Browne performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Music Hall Center, 350 Madison Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $80-$115. Call 313-887-8500 or visit www.musichall.org.
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