NELSON, JENNINGS, KRISTOFFERSON, SHAVER, RHODES - Outlaw Country: Live From Austin, TX (2006)
Though the "outlaw" tag is a little tired at this late date, this 1996 recording from the Austin City Limits series (also available on DVD) represents an appealing country tradition, the "guitar pull." Such intimate, informal, round-robin performances, whether in a club or somebody's living room, find songwriters taking turns sharing material, much of it new or previously unrecorded, for their mutual enjoyment. All of the artists gathered on this Austin soundstage (which might as well be their living room) are Texas treasures, and most are national legends. Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson teamed together in the Highwaymen (who frequently performed Nelson's "We Don't Run," which they reprise here). Nelson has long been a champion of Billy Joe Shaver's songwriting, while Jennings recorded an entire album of Shaver's songs. The angel-voiced Kimmie Rhodes sings one duet with Nelson and another song she wrote with Jennings. Acoustic guitars and impromptu harmonies abound, and there's never a setlist. Highlights are as funny as Jennings's "I'd Have Been Out of Jail" (basically a barroom tale leading to the title punch line) and as chilling as Shaver's a cappella "First and Last Time." After Jennings strikes a religious chord with "I Do Believe," Rhodes takes a spiritual turn with "Espiritu Santo Bay," Shaver responds with "You Can't Beat Jesus Christ," Nelson offers "Too Sick to Pray," and Kristofferson previews the then-new "Pilgrim's Progress." The performance ends with the best-known tune, Nelson's "On the Road Again," which becomes a collective celebration of the joys of "making music with my friends. - amazon.com
TRACKS: 01. Fighter 02. I'd Have Been Out Of Jail 03. Just One Love 04. First And Last Time 05. We Don't Run 06. Promise 07. I Do Believe 08. Espiritu Santo Bay 09. You Just Can't Beat Jesus Christ 10. Too Sick Topray 11. Pilgrim's Progress 12. Just Watch Your Mama And Me 13. Lines 14. On The Road Again
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