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Rock 09/12/2015

JD Souther: Three Classic Albums Receive Expoanded Reissues Via Omnivore Recordings

JD Souther: Three Classic Albums Receive Expoanded Reissues Via Omnivore Recordings

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) John David Souther, better known as JD Souther, is a singer-songwriter and actor best known as writer of hit songs by the likes of the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt. While his own albums failed to gain the commercial traction of those of his songwriting clients, they've long been viewed as cult classics, prototypes of the Americana movement. Omnivore Recordings will launch a JD Souther expanded reissue initiative after the first of the year, with the debut album — John David Souther — set for January 8, 2016 release while Black Rose and Souther's sole '80s album, Home by Dawn, will return to stores on February 12, 2016.

Before he was co-writing #1 Eagles hits like "Best of My Love," "New Kid in Town," and "Heartache Tonight" with Glenn Frey and Don Henley, Souther formed Longbranch/Pennywhistle with Frey when they were roommates. Their downstairs neighbor was a fellow by the name of Jackson Browne, who took Souther to audition for his boss, David Geffen, who had recently formed the Asylum Records label. After hearing two songs, Geffen told Souther to "go make a record." And that's exactly what he did.

John David Souther arrived in 1971, and was immediately a critical success and established Souther as a, if not the songwriter to watch. (He would be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame 42 years later.)
Co-produced by Souther and Fred Catero (who had recently finished Santana's Abraxas), John David Souther featured 10 originals — all stunning, and many of which would be covered by artists like Bonnie Raitt ("Run Like a Thief") and his old friends the Eagles, who released "How Long" as the first single from their 2007 comeback and multi-platinum smash, Long Road Out of Eden.

For its January 8, 2016 expanded re-release of Souther's debut, Omnivore has added seven previously unissued bonus tracks. John David Souther was, and is, the perfect introduction to the singer and performer behind the songs.

After his impressive debut, Souther worked with Chris Hillman (Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers) and Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco) in the short-lived Souther/Hillman/Furay Band, which yielded two more Asylum LPs, The SHF Band and Trouble in Paradise. During that time, his songwriting reputation grew, as friends and colleagues took his material to commercial heights. To date his writing has been recorded by other artists as diverse as Hugh Masekela, Tricia Yearwood, Raul Malo, Bernadette Peters, Brooks and Dunn, Glen Campbell, Taiwanese girl group S.H.E., Michael Bublé, India Irie, and his longtime friend and collaborator Don Henley.

Five years after John David Souther, Black Rose appeared. Beautifully helmed by Peter Asher, the album was not only full of incredible songs, but a who's who of musicians including Lowell George (Little Feat), Joe Walsh, Waddy Wachtel, Jim Keltner, Andrew Gold, Russ Kunkel, Donald Byrd, and Stanley Clarke — with David Crosby, Art Garfunkel, Don Henley and Glenn Frey adding their voices. In addition to the lush production and instrumentation, Souther's ten songs were again exceptional. Linda Ronstadt had previously recorded "Faithless Love" on her breakthrough Heart Like a Wheel album, and would tackle "Simple Man, Simple Dream" in 1977 — even basing that year's album title and her 2014 memoir Simple Dreams on the song. (For the record, Ronstadt has recorded 10 Souther tracks, a relationship that began with his production on her 1973 album Don't Cry Now, also named for a Souther composition. That album includes "I Can Almost See It" — presented as a bonus track here in Souther's demo version.)

This expanded edition of Black Rose, due out February 12, 2016, is made even more impressive by the addition of seven bonus tracks including six previously unissued live performances and demos — the other taken from the only solo album from the Little Feat leader, Thanks I'll Eat It Here.

"Black Rose was an ambitious undertaking, and it took a long time," Souther states in the new liner notes. "I wanted to use more of my musical influences, and I had to dig a bit deeper. But when we were finished, I was almost as pleased with it as if it had sold a million copies. Almost."

Now is the time for those million copies to bloom.

After hitting the Top 10 twice with "You're Only Lonely" and his duet with James Taylor, "Her Town Too," Souther released his only album of the 1980s — Home by Dawn, produced by David Malloy (Eddie Rabbitt, Kenny Rogers, Reba McEntire).

As Souther took distinctive creative turns with each release, Home by Dawn emerged at the beginning of the new wave of country music. In fact, legendary producer/engineer, and David's father, Jim Malloy (Townes Van Zandt, Eddy Arnold, Sammi Smith) told Souther, "You were about 15 minutes ahead of your time!" That timing was confirmed when Dixie Chicks covered "I'll Take Care of You" on their 12x platinum-awarded Wide Open Spaces in 1998.

Home by Dawn has steadily earned a reputation as the groundbreaking and important statement it was, and continues to be. From rock to roots-rock to rockabilly, that release took Souther in a direction reflecting his Texas upbringing.

For its Omnivore reissue, the album's original nine songs are joined by four bonus tracks — a demo of "I'll Take Care of You," two outtakes from the original sessions and his Urban Cowboy duet with Linda Ronstadt, "Hearts Against the Wind."

Home by Dawn has proven to be an important and influential album released before its time. Now is the perfect time to discover, or rediscover it.

All three reissues feature expanded artwork, and new liner notes by Scott Schinder, based on recent interviews with Souther.

John David Souther track listing:
The Fast One 

Run Like a Thief 

Jesus in 3/4 Time 

Kite Woman 

Some People Call It Music
White Wing 

It's the Same 

How Long 

Out to Sea 


Bonus Tracks: 

Kite Woman (Alternate Version) 

Jesus in 3/4 Time (Demo) 

The Fast One (Demo) 

Run Like a Thief (Demo) 

How Long (Demo) 

One in the Middle (Demo) 

Silver Blue (Demo)

Black Rose Track Listing:
Banging My Head Against the Moon 

If You Have Crying Eyes 

Your Turn Now 

Faithless Love 

Baby Come Home 

Simple Man, Simple Dream
Silver Blue 

Midnight Prowl 

Doors Swing Open 

Black Rose 

Bonus Tracks: 

Faithless Love (Live) 

Songs of Love (Band Demo) 

Can Almost See It (Demo) 

Cheek to Cheek - Lowell George
Border Town (Solo Demo) 

Texas Nights and Mexican Moons (instrumental piano demo) 

Songs of Love (Solo Demo)

Home by Dawn Track Listing:
Home by Dawn 

Go Ahead and Rain
Say You Will
I'll Take Care of You
All for You
Don't Know What I'm Gonna Do
Bad News
All I Want
Bonus Tracks:
Hearts Against the Wind -
Linda Ronstadt/JD Souther
I'll Take Care of You (Demo)
Little Girl Blue
Girls All Over the World 

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