Friday, 26 March 2010


These are The Highwaymen, a country super-group consisting of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson and below is a picture of the CD which collects together their first two studio albums. After that is a live album and a lesser third studio outing released several years after the first two.
Super-groups have a tendency to be less than the sum of their individual parts for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it's simply a mismatch. Sometimes the individuals concerned are trying to avoid standing on each others toes and the result lacks any edge. In this case it's a bunch of strong-willed but old buddies who know each other well and the result is a very polite recording, though they are clearly having fun. Each member sings a line or a verse in turn and then they harmonise on the chorus. The musicianship (don't know who played what or what sidemen were employed as there are no details provided on the inlay) is precise, skilled and tasteful, often moving from Country to Country-Rock.

The two best songs are the 1st and 10th which opened the respective original albums. Not being a country fan, I've no idea if any songs are standards (apart from Cash's Big River) or original to the albums or somewhere in between, but they're largely enjoyable with good hooks. The vocals are all strong and impeccable -you wouldn't expect anything else- and the harmonies are more rough and vigorous but still good.

The result, an enjoyable accessible CD that's well worth having but does nothing much to convert me to Country.

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