Released eight years after the actual event, Rhino's A Tribute to Nicolette Larson: Lotta Love Concert compiles highlights from two concerts at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in February 1998. Larson passed away in December 1997, and a group of her friends and colleagues in the California soft rock and singer/songwriter scene gathered together to pay tribute. So, the concert featured such heavyweights as Jackson Browne, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Jimmy Buffett, Carole King, Dan Fogelberg, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Walsh, Little Feat, and, of course, Crosby, Stills & Nash. Many of these artists, but not all, had Larson sing on their records and the songs here do not necessarily reflect songs that featured Nicolette on backing vocals. Instead, this is an all-star concert where the stars sing their all-star songs: Walsh does "Rocky Mountain Way," Browne does "Running on Empty," Ronstadt does "Blue Bayou," CSN do "Southern Cross," and Buffett does "Margaritaville." In other words, no real surprises, other than that the performances are infused with a genuine sense of warmth and love that's rare on superstar concerts like these. Perhaps that's because these two concerts functioned as a public wake for a singer who was an integral part of the Californian scene in the '70s, and her friends are celebrating her life and music while re-creating that '70s spirit for a brief time. Whatever the case, there's a real feeling of love and affection on this tribute, which makes it not only a fitting tribute, but a record worth hearing for anybody who's had deep and lasting fondness for the sound of Southern California in the '70s.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine