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Great duets album from Johnny and Waylon
on June 10, 2009
Although this was the first time that Johnny and Waylon had teamed up to record an entire album, they had recorded a couple of duets before, scoring a seventies country hit together with There ain't no good chain gang. Later, both of them teamed up with Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson as the Highwaymen. Perhaps because of those three Highwaymen albums, this one tends to get overlooked, but it does not deserve that fate.
Although this album contains several cover versions, none of them have been over-recorded. To country music fans, perhaps the most familiar songs will be Ballad of forty dollars (one of Tom T Hall's classic songs) and Even cowgirls get the blues (one of two Rodney Crowell songs here). The latter song has been recorded by several female singers including Emmylou Harris, who recorded it at mid-tempo pace (as Johnny and Waylon do here) with backing vocals by Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt, and Lynn Anderson, who recorded an up-tempo version in 1980 and later re-recorded it for her sensational Cowboy's sweetheart album in the nineties. Tanya Tucker's sister LaCosta also recorded it, but I'm not sure if I ever heard her version. Apart from the version here, I haven't heard any other male versions although I know that Rodney Crowell recorded his own version.
Other covers include I'm never gonna roam again (the other Rodney Crowell song here), One too many mornings (Bob Dylan), Love is the way (Kris Kristofferson) and Folks out on the road (Eddy Raven). Johnny co-wrote the excellent Field of diamonds. The other songs (American by birth, Heroes, I'll always love you in my own crazy way) are all wonderful and could be original songs, but I'm not sure.
I regard this album as a classic. If you are a fan of Johnny or Waylon, or merely love top quality country music the way it used to be, you are likely to enjoy this album.