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This Old Road CD

4.9 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Kris Kristofferson has always identified himself first and foremost as a writer, and true writers know that what works best is giving a piece of themselves to the listener. With his latest album, This Old Road, Kristofferson lays a chunk of his own soul on every track. This beautifully sparse recording, produced by Don Was (Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones), puts an emphasis on his fine lyrics and distinctive voice by featuring Kristofferson, his guitar, and harmonica. Subtle accompaniment is added by Was (bass, piano, backing vocals), longtime sidekick Stephen Bruton (guitar, mandolin, backing vocals) and Jim Keltner (drums). The album is so intimate it makes the listener feel as if they are sitting in Kristofferson's living room while he picks and sings just for them. New West. 2006.

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Though Kris Kristofferson has long seemed ageless, the approach of his 70th birthday plainly has the songwriter looking back, taking stock and coming to terms with his legacy and his mortality. The result is his most consistently compelling release in decades, as well as his most stripped-to-the-bone intimate. The spare production by bassist Don Was captures Kristofferson in all his rough-edged, plain-spoken, and big-hearted glory, with occasional support from guitarist (and longtime Kristofferson compatriot) Stephen Bruton and drummer Jim Keltner putting the focus on songs that combine the poetic grace of Kristofferson's early classics with a conviction that has grown stronger with the passing years. "Wild Americans" offers a roll call of outspoken heroes--from American Indian activist John Trudell to country maverick Steve Earle--while "In the News" lambastes the very concept of a holy war. Yet it's the spiritual side of Kristofferson that really touches the soul, from a father's wonder at the "Holy Creation" of his children's birth to the bittersweet benediction of "Thank You for a Life." With the title cut, "The Last Thing to Go," "The Show Goes On," and "Final Attraction," he takes a look back at the life of a troubadour and decides that, for all the bumps, this road has been one of incomparable rewards. The listener shares the riches. --Don McLeese
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 7, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: New West Records
  • ASIN: B000E6UKD2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,578 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Terry on March 17, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Don't let Kris Kristofferson fool you. He has been paying attention. This album is a love letter to his family and friends. It's also full of angry, cautionary observations about the world we live in. The stripped down production is a perfect accompaniement to Kristofferson's well worn vocals, acoustic guitar and harmonica. When you have a resume that sports as many country classics as this gentleman, it's kind of hard to believe that there was anything worthy of adding to it. No one would have blamed him for resting quietly on his laurels. "This Old Road" quietly adds another chapter to the Pilgram's progress. What an extraordinary journey it's been.
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Guy Clark, a friend, told Kris one night to "Go Break a Heart", as he was going on stage, instead of the old sawbone "Go Break a Leg." It seems somehow the right thing to say. These are the lyrics from Kris's song "Final Attraction" the last song on the CD. All of Kris's friends and those he loved. The Old Troubador comes through on this CD.

"Come on boy, get back up there
You can do it one more time
For Hank Williams, go break a heart
And Janis Joplin, go break a heart
And Waylon Jennings, go break a heart
And John Lennon, go break a heart
And Roger Miller, "
And Jimi Hendrix, "
And Mickey Newbury, "
(add on....)John and June Cash
Vince Matthews, Shell Silverstein,
And maybe one time for me,
Go break a heart"

This is the barebones of Kris Kristofferson; superb, poetic lyrics and his distinctive voice, like old fine whiskey. He is approaching 70, and he plays on this CD with his guitar and a few old friends. It is bleak and oh, so sweet. The lyrics in these songs break your heart, as Kris wishes. They are real, and we know exactly what Kris is saying. This is the man who won our hearts and souls with his gravelly, whiskey voice, putting his honesty on the line for us.

Kris was a Rhodes Scholar who turned down a position at West Point to work as a janitor in Nashville. Soon he was known for his song writing and voice, writing with Shel Silverstein, "Me and Bobby McGee", "Sunday Morning Coming Down," and "For the Good Times." Kris Kristofferson is known as a living legend at this point in his career. But, he tells us he is the same man he has always been. He talks of freedom in many of his songs. "If you took freedom out of the songs, you'd have very few Kristofferson songs," he laughs.
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Format: Audio CD
Let's examine that word: "masterpiece." What is a masterpiece? It's a work of art that lasts longer that its artist; it is a work so profound that it touches you on every emotional level. A masterpiece is something you may never fully understand, may never truly comprehend, but show it unequivocal respect and admiration.

That's what Kristofferson's latest record is: a masterpiece. I won't sink to the level of going song-by-song; how could I even attempt such a journey? This mostly-acoustic album is a journey through the mind of an artist. Kristofferson has proved himself, over DECADES, to be the premier songwriter in the music industry. For his latest release, he turns to his own life's story, his own place in this vast "universal mind." With a voice hewn by years of hard living and loving, and stellar production by Don Was, Kristofferson will take you on a soulful journey from which you may never return. Not that you would want to.

THIS OLD ROAD is a masterpiece...and if you have a single doubt in your mind as to that truth, then buy the album and give it a listen. And if it doesn't touch you, check your pulse and make sure you still have a beating heart capable of breaking. Because this one will break your heart, then put it back together again. A beautiful, timeless record. A masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD
"The angels were singing a sad country song/it sounded like something of yours..." I can't help but think that maybe Kris is making a touching reference here to the late Johnny Cash.

There's something about that weathered voice, makes you feel like he's there, that he's lived it and that he's sitting down to tell you about it. I think that's what initially made me such a big fan of Kris Kristofferson. It's definitely what makes this, his latest album, easily a quick favorite.

His music this time around, as always, is simple in its delivery and yet, if you take a close look at the words, the language...it's blistered and it's poetry. Kris remains country music's own Bob Dylan. Who else could write something so evocative as that line in Me & Bobby McGee that still grabs me: "...feelin' nearly faded as my jeans"?

Do yourself a favor and listen especially to tracks #1,3, & 11.
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Format: Audio CD
Kris Kristofferson is one of the rarest of artists that can express heavy emotions in such a way that they are laid out for you to accept or reject on your own terms. He preaches without preaching.

"In the News", is a anti-war song, presented on a personal level, which seems to invoke the emotional Lacey Peterson murder . Listen and you know, that he is not merely using this sad story to make a point, you can feel the pain in in his voice.

"Wild American", embraces those that have, put their necks out there to express their views, no matter how unpopular. Kistofferson, affirms that they, and not just the "patriotic" flag wavers, are the true Americans.

"Chase the Feeling", to me is the most direct song on this album. Still, it is not admonishing anybody that finds themselves in the throws of addiction. It drills down, in simple, yet most affective lyrics for one to look at the roots of their past and present choices . Again, he does this without preaching, but he voices how the seemingly small choices you make each day affect the big picture of your life.

In "The Show Goes On", as much of this album, seems to be, a look back to the idealistic past, to a look at the present and to the future. As in , "Thank You for a Life", he humbly expresses his gratitude to god for "a life I'd call happy," and "...thanks for the sadness that you saved me from the madness...all I'm crying now are tears of joy."

While, "This Old Road", as a whole, may almost seem to be a farewell from an old friend, to me it feels like a gift of wisdom from somebody that is just further down the trail than myself.

Kris Kristofferson is a human that I can hold as a piece of rugged hope that keeps me burning with conviction, humanity and humility.
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