OUTLAW: THE MUSIC OF WAYLON JENNINGS

VARIOUS ARTISTS

Double disc – CD and DVD of the live Concert.

Having never been a huge fan of tribute albums, live albums or even Waylon Jennings for that matter, I was surprised to discover my critical parameters expanding as I moved track by track through this inspiring collection of performances. This musical memoir of the 2015 Nashville concert of family and friends paying tribute to the late Jennings is a great example of how a genuine tribute can also produce a genuinely great album. Current man of the moment Chris Stapleton and wife Morgane kick off the whole affair with a blistering run through Rodney Crowell’s ‘Aint Living Long Like This’; the wonderful Leanne Womack stills the crowd with both a beautiful version of ‘Ride Me Down Easy’ and an exquisite duet with Buddy Miller on ‘Yours Love.’ Kasey Musgraves rekindles the ‘The Wurlitzer Prize’ like a seasoned pro, Jamey Johnson hits a big emotional nerve with his touching rendition of ‘Freedom to Stay’ while Bobby Bare holds his own with the new kids with his take on the classic ‘Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line’, and along with Jennings son Shooter and widow Jesse Colter, Eric Church, Ryan Bingham, Alison Krauss, Robert Earle Keen, Toby Keith and Willie Nelson just about everyone delivers sincere and heartfelt performances but nothing here eclipses the emotional gravitas of Kris Kristofferson’s heart stopping take on the deeply philosophical ‘I Do Believe’, a transcendent moment where strength and fragility collide in what has to be the album’s most profound and poignant farewell. Kim Cheshire