Uncut - p.884 stars out of 5
-- "At the center, in splendid isolation from the surrounding cast of characters, are Browne's boyishly earnest voice and its constant shadow throughout the decade: the keening lap-steel and doleful violin of David Lindley."
Dirty Linen - p.63
"Writing rock songs about life on the road has long been a cliche, but the topic was never treated with such verve and condor as it was on Jackson Browne's 1977 album RUNNING ON EMPTY..."
Also available with JACKSON BROWNE (SATURATE BEFORE USING) on 1 cassette.
Personnel: Jackson Browne (vocals, guitar); Danny Kortchmar (guitar); David Lindley (lap steel guitar, fiddle); Craid Doerge (keyboards); Leland Sklar (bass); Russ Kunkel (drums); Doug Haywood, Rosemary Butler (background vocals).
Recorded live in 1977.
Personnel: Jackson Browne (vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards); David Lindley (vocals, guitar, steel guitar, lap steel guitar, violin, fiddle); Danny Kortchmar (vocals, guitar, percussion); Doug Haywood, Jon Douglas Haywood, Rosemary Butler, Joel Bernstein (vocals); Craig Doerge (keyboards); Russ Kunkel (drums, snare drum, hi-hat).
Recording information: Cross Keys Inn, Columbia, MD (08/17/1977-09/17/1977); Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD (08/17/1977-09/17/1977); Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Sara (08/17/1977-09/17/1977).
An audacious concept album about life on the road, this is a mix of in concert performances and informal sessions taped in various hotel rooms (see "Shaky Town," although it's hard to believe that Browne, by then a major star, was actually staying at a Holiday Inn). It's very '70s--the overall aura of cocaine-fueled decadence is almost palpable--but it works far better than you'd expect, and the songs are consistently memorable, even if Browne didn't write them all.
High points include a stunning half hotel/half concert version of Danny O'Keefe's "The Road," still the best song ever written about the life of a travelling musician, and the closing medley of the roadie anthem "The Load-Out" and Maurice Williams and the Zodiac's doo-wop classic "Stay." The hard rocking title tune features typically lyrical yet stinging slide guitar from long time associate David Lindley.