(Photo courtesy of Les Schwab Amphitheater)
The end of July boasts some great musicians and bands on the stage at Les Schwab Amphitheater. With Jackson Browne on the the 24, Sheryl Crow on the 25 and The Decemberists on the 26, a fantastic week of music is in store.
Jackson Browne, who has written and performed some of the most literate and moving songs in popular music, is headed to Bend’s Les Schwab Amphitheater on July 24.
Except for a brief period in NYC in the late 1960s, Jackson, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2007, has always lived in Southern California. His debut album came out on David Geffen’s Asylum Records in 1972. Since then, he has released fourteen studio albums and four collections of live performances. His most recent studio album, Standing In The Breach, is a collection of ten songs, at turns deeply personal and political, exploring love, hope, and defiance in the face of the advancing uncertainties of modern life.
Browne is known for his advocacy on behalf of the environment, human rights, and arts education. He’s a co-founder of the groups Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) and Nukefree.org and a member of the Ocean advocacy group, Ocean Elders.
In 2002, he was the fourth recipient of the John Steinbeck Award, given to artists whose works exemplify the environmental and social values that were essential to the great California-born author. He has received Duke University’s LEAF award for Lifetime Environmental Achievement in the Fine Arts, and both the Chapin-World Hunger Year and NARM Harry Chapin Humanitarian Awards. In 2004, Jackson was given an honorary Doctorate of Music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, for “a remarkable musical career that has successfully combined an intensely personal artistry with a broader vision of social justice.”
Touring on the tails of her ninth album Be Myself, a collaboration between herself and longtime producer Jeff Trott, Sheryl Crow journeys back to her roots with an introspective look at her early work. Her single Alone In The Dark is a throwback to early in her career, light and catchy and undeniably fun.
The pop star has earned nine Grammys over the span of her career, along with five Platinum albums and more than 35 million album sales. Her single All I Want To Do propelled her 1993 debut album Tuesday Night Music Club to Double Platinum.
This will be Crow’s first show back in Bend since playing the Les Schwab Amphitheater in 2015.
The Decemberists explore a new sound with a new producer on their inspired eighth studio album I’ll Be Your Girl, which was released in March on Capitol Records. The acclaimed Portland, Oregon-based band worked with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Lana del Rey) and embraced influences such as Roxy Music and New Order to spark a new creative path, as can be heard on the synth-driven lead single Severed, which is available today to stream or download.
“When you’ve been a band for 17 years, inevitably there are habits you fall into,” says lead vocalist and guitarist Colin Meloy. “So our ambition this time was really just to get out of our comfort zone. That’s what prompted working with a different producer and using a different studio. We wanted to free ourselves from old patterns and give ourselves permission to try something different.”
With I’ll Be Your Girl, the Decemberists — Meloy, guitarist Chris Funk, keyboardist Jenny Conlee, bassist Nate Query, and drummer John Moen — explore new approaches to making music and broaden their sonic range. It’s the group’s follow-up to 2015’s What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, though in the time since, they have released the EP Florasongs; a 10th anniversary limited edition vinyl box set of their 2006 Capitol Records debut The Crane Wife; their own crowd-funded board game Illimat; The Queen of Hearts, a GRAMMY-nominated collaboration with Olivia Chaney under the name Offa Rex; and Ben Franklin’s Song, the first of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s monthly “Hamildrops” of bonus material from Hamilton; as well as launching Travelers’ Rest, an annual two-day musical festival of their own curation in Missoula, Montana.