Ringing peals of guitar herald the coming of a great new Jackson Browne release, itself a harbinger of an October 6-7 album, Standing In The Breach, his 14th. Browne fans will find the rousing electric incarnation unfamiliar, but the song itself is from the archive.
The Birds Of St. Marks was originally recorded on April 6, 1970 as a demo for Criterion Music, and first emerged on Browne's 2005 album, Solo Acoustic Vol 1. Concerning a medieval-ish queen sequestered in sadness behind castle walls, the song was inspired by Velvet Underground songstrel Nico, with whom the young Browne, as a dashing young-songwriter about town, had a dalliance. Browne songs and co-writes – These Days, Somewhere There’s A Feather, The Fairest Of The Seasons – lay at the heart of the Teutonic ice-maiden's 1967 debut solo album, Chelsea Girl.
The new band treatment of The Birds Of St. Marks sees Browne (acoustic guitar), Val McCallum (electric guitar), Don Heffington (drums), and Bob Glaub (bass) joined by Greg Leisz on 12-string guitar, while McCallum and Kipp Lennon stir essence of Crosby into the vocal harmonies. “The interplay between Val McCallum and Greg Leisz on this album – the effortlessness of their chemistry is a gift really,” enthuses Browne.
The album, Standing In The Breach, is available for pre-order now through Amazon and digitally through iTunes. Browne is currently on tour solo, to be joined by a full band in the States from September 14 and in the UK from November 17. For more detail on dates, visit www.jacksonbrowne.com.