.

Song Stories

“Shaky Town”

Jackson Browne | 1977

Running on Empty was a different sort of live album: Although all the tracks were laid down on tour, not all of them were recorded on concert stages. This song, written by touring guitarist Danny Kortchmar, was cut in a motel room -- specifically, Room 124 of the Holiday Inn in Edwardsville, Illinois. "We were just trying to get away with it," Browne admitted. "We knew we could do it with the violin and acoustic guitar, but we also put the drums in the room, and Danny and I actually sang in the shower. I just love the way that sounds."

prev
Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com