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Jackson Browne No 'Pretender'

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Jackson Browne No 'Pretender'

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Jackson Browne, '70s singer/songwriter known for hits like "The Pretender," "Running on Empty," and "Late for the Sky," will take the stage  Humphreys By the Bay on July 21.

Like many San Diegans who might attend his show, Browne was born overseas to a military family. He stayed in Germany until age 3, when his parents moved to Los Angeles. From there, the similarities likely end. Browne began singing folk songs as a teenager; in 1966, he joined the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; in '67, he wrote songs for other people, including his then-girlfriend, Nico.

The 1970s are widely considered to be Browne's peak; during these years, he penned "Doctor My Eyes," co-wrote "Take It Easy" with the Eagles' Glenn Frey, contributed "Late for the Sky" to the Taxi Driver soundtrack, and in 1977, released his biggest commercial success "Running on Empty." He's still writing songs and touring; in fact, he'll hit San Diego twice this year.

A few years ago, I saw Jackson Browne perform with Steve Earle, and it was a great show. Even though Browne has written a few clunkers over the years (see, the 1980s), his mass appeal hasn't diminished. There's really no question about the staying power of his classic songs; I still hear "The Pretender" and "Take It Easy" on the radio all the time. If his set at Humphries is anything like the show I saw, Browne will largely stick to the hits and avoid his misses. He is also a sincere guy, so you won't get the sense that he's just phoning it in. He still means every word.

Browne's July show is sold out, but Humphreys added a second show in September. Get your tickets here.

T. Loper is a writer for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.

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