Browne explained that the tune is about the pollution of the ocean.
“I realized that downhill has that sort of resonance about…’is it all downhill from here?’…but it actually specifically refers to the fact that the ocean is downhill from all of humanity,” he noted. “I mean, there’s a storm drain out in front of my studio, there’s a little stenciled sign on it saying, ‘This drain leads to the ocean.’ So be careful what you put in there.”
Browne also discussed the song “A Little Soon to Say,” which he revealed was inspired by playing a Vermont festival hosted by singer/songwriter Grace Potter, whom he greatly admires.
“It’s really about being at a gathering of people,” he said, “and this audience was so amazing to look out upon because there were young and old, and there were some weather-beaten faces and some young, positive, really open-hearted people.”
He added, “I had the lines before I left there that night. I told [Potter], ‘I got this song started’ as I said goodnight that night to her and her husband and her baby, and I said, ‘I came looking for Grace…I came for inspiration.'”
As previously reported, Downhill from Everywhere finds the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer addressing such themes as the plight of illegal immigrants, prejudice against same-sex relationships, racial justice and mortality.
Browne launches a joint U.S. tour with James Taylor on July 29 in Chicago, and he also has some headlining dates scheduled. Visit JacksonBrowne.com for his full itinerary.
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