Mittwoch, 6. Januar 2021

Jerry Jeff Walker - Ridin´ High (1975)

Jerry Jeff Walker (born Ronald Clyde Crosby; March 16, 1942) was an American country music singer and songwriter. He was a leading figure in the outlaw country music movement. Walker was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017. He died of the disease on October 23, 2020, at a hospital in Austin, Texas.

The mid- to late '70s were good to Jerry Jeff Walker. He recorded a string of absolutely endearing classics of the outlaw singer/songwriter genre of country music: "Viva Terlingua", "Walker's Collectibles", "Jerry Jeff Walker", "It's a Good Night for Singin'", the live "A Man Must Carry On", and this one, "Ridin' High" from 1975. 

Most Walker fans will argue like hell about which is best, but they are interchangeably great and stand the test of time in the same way Guy Clark's and Billy Joe Shaver's albums do. In any case, "Ridin' High" is pure Texas country drunk & roll with some Nash Vegas players added to the Lost Gonzo Band for some truly Cosmic Cowboy yammering. The material here is top-notch: Willie Nelson's "Pick Up the Tempo," Bob Livingston's "Public Domain," and Guy Clark's "Like a Coat from the Cold" -- and they're the first three tracks on the album! 

Walker has a way of delivering drunken anthems and tender ballads in his deep bass voice that brings you into the song so far you feel as if he's singing it just for you and your friends. He does this consistently on this album, backed by a star cast of players including not only the Gonzos but also Johnny Gimble, David Briggs, Norbert Putnam, and others. And the gorgeous horn touches added by Michael Brovsky are stunning. 

Two of Walker's own best songs are here, "I Love You," written for his then new wife Susan, and the rowdy man's good-time anthem "Pissin' in the Wind." The album is rounded out by Jesse Winchester's "Mississippi You're on My Mind," Mike Burton's oft-covered nugget "Night Rider's Lament," and a few others. 

The album feels like a solid stream of hippie cowboy music fed by cold Lone Star, lots of pot, and the occasional line. To listen closely is to miss the point. This is an album to be experienced with the senses, entering into the free flow of Walker's good-time world even for the 40 minutes it takes to listen to the album. But that's far better than nothin', ain't it?


A1 Public Domain 3:29
A2 Pick Up The Tempo 3:48
A3 Like A Coat From The Cold 3:32
A4 I Love You 3:46
A5 Night Rider's Lament 4:55
B1 Goodbye Easy Street 3:10
B2 Pot Can't Call The Kettle Black 3:06
B3 Mississippi You're On My Mind 4:22
B4 Jaded Lover 3:58
B5 Pissin In The Wind 4:02

Jerry Jeff Walker - Ridin´ High (1975)
(320 kbps, cover art include)

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