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Sonoma musician Jason Crosby to back Jackson Browne

Jason Crosby is usually a very busy man. The Sonoma Valley resident and well-respected musician has made himself an important part of the very much alive Dead/Moonalice/Phil Lesh continuum. He has played on many stages and with many artists over his career. In a phone call last month, Crosby excitedly announced that he had been chosen to take “the David Lindley spot” in Jackson Browne’s band for the singer’s upcoming national tour.

But in what has to be considered a really bad double whammy, the biggest gigs of Crosby’s lifetime have been postponed. First, Browne was diagnosed with COVID-19, putting the tour in question. Then as the national virus situation became more dire, the entire tour was postponed. But it was not just a Jackson Browne tour.

Browne’s band was slated to open shows for renowned singer-songwriter James Taylor on an arena tour beginning May 15 in New Orleans. The 27-city tour had a show scheduled at San Francisco’s Chase Center on May 27. It was to wind up in Camden, New Jersey on July 10.

The tour will be rescheduled, but the new dates have not been announced.

Like many things in life, Crosby being chosen by Browne came about by chance. Crosby recounted meeting Browne backstage at the Sweetwater in Mill Valley a few years ago. He and Browne played a bit, then played a bit more as they crossed paths during the following months. Browne finally said to Crosby, “I need to get your number, I have something to discuss with you.”

That discussion led to Browne asking Crosby to join the band, taking David Lindley’s iconic violin solo spots and providing another keyboard in the songs. “Jackson likes to be front and center, and my playing piano will allow that.”

This huge opportunity will give Crosby a chance to live the life Browne wrote about in “The Load Out”: “We just pass the time in our hotel rooms and wander ‘round backstage, ‘till those lights come and we hear the crowd and we remember why we came.”

Let’s just hope Crosby’s ready to go when they come for his piano. More importantly, let’s hope the shows, and all live music shows, are rescheduled, and there is actually a need to come for that piano.

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