A songwriting legend and country rock pioneer, JD Souther returns to Rockport armed with a veritable treasure trove of classics, including several made famous by The Eagles (“Heartache Tonight,” “Best of My Love”) and Linda Ronstadt (“Faithless Love”). His infectious pop sensibility and effortless croon have led to a near 50 year career.
Souther’s name is synonymous with the birth of country rock, his collaborations with Glenn Frey and The Eagles as well as with other 70’s heavyweights like Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne making him a major player in the genre’s dominance on the charts. Over the years, the Grammy-nominated Souther has penned countless hits for The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Roy Orbison, James Taylor, Don Henley, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks and Dunn and has of course found much success as a solo artist.
The Amarillo, Texas native first came to prominence in a duo with Glenn Frey called Longbranch Pennywhistle in 1970, but while their debut did little on the radio, it did lead to a fruitful collaboration with the Eagles frontman. His debut solo record John David Souther came out in 1972 and was critically acclaimed despite not making much of a commercial splash. Around that time Souther joined up with country rock legends Chris Hillman (The Byrds) and Richie Fury (Buffalo Springfield, Poco) to form the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. The band released two acclaimed records before creative differences led to a split to concentrate on other projects.
Despite releasing several revered solo records throughout the 70’s, much of his acclaim and success came with his songwriting, writing many hits for other artists, most notably The Eagles (“Heartache Tonight” “Victim of Love” “New Kid in Town” and Linda Ronstadt (“Faithless Love”) whose records he helped produce (and who he also briefly dated). Souther’s biggest solo hit was 1979’s doo-wop throwback “You’re Only Lonely” which cracked the Billboard Top Ten (#7).
The singer-songwriter has made a triumphant return to music in recent years, releasing a string of lauded albums, beginning with 2008’s If the World Was You, his first release in 25 years. Souther kept the momentum up, coming out with a live record a year later and then the neo-classic Natural History in 2011, a release which featured stripped down versions of his most famous songs.
On his latest studio album, Tenderness (Sony Music Masterworks), Souther creates a perfect balance of understated jazz with the ineffable pop narratives that have been the backbone of much of his greatest work. His classic albums John David Souther, Black Rose and Home by Dawn have been released as expanded reissues (Omnivore Recordings).
Not surprisingly, in 2013 Souther was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame cementing his legacy as one of the most celebrated songwriters of his generation.