This Old Road – Kris Kristofferson | CD review

 (New West) 4 stars

There’s a lifetime of Sunday mornings coming down in Kris Kristofferson’s voice, but at 70, this former Oxford don-turned helicopter pilot, troubadour, actor and activist remains a potent performer.

In his new recording the old dog sticks to the basics: honest ballads of love, loss, hope, despair and redemption, delivered with fierce intelligence.

Delivered mostly solo to acoustic guitar, with some help from guitarist Stephen Bruton, drummer Jim Keltner and producer Don Was (piano and bass), these 11 songs are all gilt-edged.

Standouts include the title opener, plus his self-parodying `The Last Thing To Go’ and tribute to fallen peers on `Final Attraction’.

A surprising collection of artists pay homage to the country icon on `The Pilgrim: A Celebration of Kris Kristofferson’ (American Roots) – from Emmylou Harris, Roseanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Jessi Colter and  Willie Nelson to our own Russell Crowe.

Kris in his prime (1981) can be also seen and heard on the latest release in the excellent DVD concert series `Live From Austin Tx’ (New West).

- Mike Daly

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