Jackson Browne should be proud of Looking Into You, a two-disc tribute to him, because of the organic treatment of his music by the likes of Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Indigo Girls, Lyle Lovett, Ben Harper, Eliza Gilkyson, Keb Mo, Karla Bonoff, Marc Cohn, Shawn Colvin, Bruce Hornsby, J.D. Souther and Bruce Springsteen & Patti Scialfa. So should longtime Browne organist Craig Doerge because of a frequent nod to his exceptional Hammond B-3 playing.
Tribute albums are often a letdown, especially typically overlong two-disc collections. But that isn’t the case with Looking Into You because of a faithfulness combined with fun nuances, such as Dave Jorgenson’s muted trumpet on “These Days,” longtime Browne sideman David Lindley’s rap break on Raitt’s version of the reggae-tinged “Everywhere I Go,” and Timothy Loo’s haunting cello on “Jamaica Say You Will.”
Of the 23 contributions, only three disappoint: Kevin’s Welch’s subdued stab title-track, Lucinda Williams’ ragged “The Pretender” and Joan Osborne’s surprisingly comatose “Late For The Sky.” “Everywhere I Go,” Keb Mo’s gospel rich “Rock Me On The Water,” Indigo Girls’ spot-on “Fountain Of Sorrow” and Colvin’s brave solo acoustic “Call It A Loan” more than compensate.
In A Word: Appropriate