DVD: Jackson Browne’s “Going Home”
(Eagle Rock Entertainment, 2010):
It’s been out of print for a couple of years now, but the folks at Eagle Rock finally re-issued it just last month.
Originally released in 2000 by Pioneer, this 90-minute DVD boasts quite a bit of concert footage, but it’s not a concert DVD. Part documentary about Jackson Browne’s long-running career and part live concert experience, “Going Home” originally aired as a music special on the Disney Channel back in 1994.
From a musical point of view, it’s a frustrating view, as many of the songs that are performed never reach their conclusion, but rather get cut off mid-song in order to insert some interview or commentary footage.
And the core of Browne’s 1994 band seen here – bassist Kevin McCormick and drummer Mauricio Lewak (both from Melissa Etheridge’s original rhythm section), guitarist Mark Goldenberg and keyboardist Jeff Young – are still with him, and will share the spotlight with Brown again tonight in concert at Albany’s Palace Theatre.
While it’s fun to watch the ’94 band – which allso included guitarist-keyboardist Scott Thurston, who’s been with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers for several years now – the real musical treats are the tunes with multi-instrumentalist David Lindley: “Farther On,” “Doctor My Eyes,” “These Days.” There’s a fine acoustic backstage jam with Lindley on “Take It Easy.”
“Lives in the Balance” features David Crosby, Graham Nash and Lindley in a live performance, but the casual, off-stage, out-of-the-spotlight stuff is even better. There’s a hotel room jam session on Jimmy Cliff’s “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” “Knock On Any Door” in the rehearsal studio, and “Birds of St. Marks” is just solo Browne at the piano.
The film also follows “Too Many Angels” from inception to concert performance. We see and hear the song first as Browne is playing it solo on his acoustic guitar in the backseat of a traveling car. “When did you write this?,” a voice asks. “I’m writing it right now,” Browne responds. The backseat version morphs into rehearsal footage with Thurston and Valerie Carter and then segues into the full-blown concert performance with Lindley and the rest of the band.
Unfortunately, there are no extras, no bonus features at all. It would have been nice to at least be able to hear full performances of the songs.