CD Review: “In Session,” Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb

In Session [CD/DVD]

When Glen Campbell stepped up to the mic at Farm Aid 2 in Champaign, IL and sang “I am a lineman for the county” it was one of the greatest moments in music history for me. Many of you might be wondering why and I really have no answer for you. It was just great. Campbell had a #3 hit with “Wichita Lineman,” a song written by the great Jimmy Webb. Two years earlier the two had gotten together for a TV special called In Session and that stellar performance has just been released on CD/DVD and it’s nothing short of amazing.

Campbell’s voice has always been kind to Webb’s songs (he also had huge hits with “Galveston” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”), but on these slower, stripped down versions it goes into another dimension. “Galveston” is slowed down to the speed Webb intended when he wrote it and it takes you to sweeter place without brown water and 500 pounds of seaweed. “Wichita Lineman” is one of the great songs of all-time and this arrangement and performance is impeccable. His take on “MacArthur Park” shows off Campbell’s chops as a guitar player, a talent for which he is underrated. The collection also includes a stunning rendition of “The Moon is A Harsh Mistress,” a fun, loose take on”Sunshower” and beautiful versions on “If These Walls Could Speak” and “Where’s the Playground Susie?”

In Session shows two artists who deeply admire each other’s work doing what they do best. It’s one of those truly special collections that comes along once in a lifetime.

Glen Campbell official website

Jimmy Webb official website

Glen Campbell – Farm Aid 1985

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