Motor City-born Texas maverick J.D. Souther is the sort of fabled musician and artist who rarely exists anymore. I'm a lifelong country-rock idolator, and Souther emerged from my sonic foraging early in my musical journey, soon after my beloved Gene Clark and Gram Parsons, an L.A. titan iconic for his early Echo Park association with the Eagles and Jackson Browne as well as his handsomeness and lady-slaying across the scene, from Linda Ronstadt to the late Judee Sill. Yet despite his decades-long career and the fact that millions have consumed his craft, including "Best of My Love" and "How Long," it's been 24 years since Souther cut his last record. He's taken a far more obscure and interesting road than many of his more famous singer-songwriter peers, and his removal to Nashville and sojourning to the heart of Afro-Cuba have informed his new If the World Was You as much as long-ago reveries of the good life in the Golden State. Souther recently told the Los Angeles Times: "I'm a never feel part of any place. I'm a rank outsider everywhere." Far beyond the dulcet tones of his voice, that's the sentiment that speaks for my soul.
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