Archive for Kris Kristofferson

Review: “American VI: Ain’t No Grave,” Johnny Cash

Posted in Review with tags , , , on February 23, 2010 by 30daysout

Many listeners may be put off by the mere existence of American VI: Ain’t No Grave, recorded by Johnny Cash in 2003, as he lived the final months of his life.  When June Carter Cash died in May 2003, Johnny mourned his wife of 35 years by stepping up his recording schedule.  By the time he died a scant four months later, Cash had put enough music in the can to yield the posthumous American V: A Hundred Highways in 2006, and this album, his final one in the American Recordings series with Rick Rubin.

Sure, Cash’s voice breaks down into a wheeze at times and the subject matter may be overly dark – but the ailing singer still had enough snap to know this was going to be his final statement.  Kicking off the album, the title song is as chilling as anything Cash ever recorded – keeping time to a stomping drum and the shaking of a ghostly chain, the singer fights off the Grim Reaper by declaring “ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down.”  Cash’s reading of “Redemption Day” (written by Sheryl Crow) takes on a similar urgency, but this short album isn’t entirely dark.

“For The Good Times,” written by Kris Kristofferson is perhaps the best cut on American VI, and “I Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound” is elegaic without being morbid.  The closing track, and Johnny Cash’s goodbye to this world, is “Aloha Oe.”  Producer Rubin has said this song choice was Cash’s own – if so, even on his death bed Johnny Cash still had a sense of humor.  In fact, the final song somewhat redeems the second half of an album that seems to run out of gas as it progresses.  Still, it’s a fitting final chapter to a legendary career.  Should you get American VI: Ain’t No Grave?  Sure – if only for those first few tunes, which become classics in Johnny Cash’s hands.  You should hear the entire American Recordings series, too.  Don’t wait for the box set.

Listen: “Ain’t No Grave”

Johnny Cash official website

R.I.P. – Bobby Charles & Teddy Pendergrass

Posted in News with tags , , , , on January 15, 2010 by 30daysout

Bobby Charles

The music world has lost two giants this week – singer/songwriter Bobby Charles, and R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass.   Charles, writer of “Walkin’ To New Orleans” and “See You Later Alligator,” also cut a highly regarded solo album in 1972 with members of the Band.  His songs have been recorded by the Band, Joe Cocker, Ray Charles and Kris Kristofferson.

Bobby Charles obituary in the Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Story from 2007 on Bobby Charles in the New Orleans Times Picayune

MP3: “Small Town Talk” by Bobby Charles

MP3: “I’m That Way” by Bobby Charles

MP3: “Grow Too Old” by Bobby Charles

MP3: “See You Later Alligator” by Bobby Charles

Teddy Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass also passed this week, at age 59.  He spent his last 28 years in a wheelchair after being injured in a car crash.  He was lead singer for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, and after leaving that group in 1975 he became a million-selling solo hitmaker.

An appreciation of Teddy Pendergrass from the Los Angeles Times

MP3: “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes

YouTube: “When Somebody Loves You Back” by Teddy Pendergrass

One For The Weekend – Kris Kristofferson

Posted in News with tags on October 16, 2009 by 30daysout

Kris Kristofferson’s new album is Closer To The Bone, and here’s the title song.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “One For The Weekend – Kris Kristofferson“, posted with vodpod

New Stuff: Texas

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on September 30, 2009 by 30daysout


This weekend, Austin opens its doors to tens of thousands of people who will attend the big three-day Austin City Limits Festival.  Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, Levon Helm and many others will play … but we’re not gonna go.  Tickets are a little pricey, and it’s been sold out for months anyway.  So we’re just gonna sit back and enjoy some new music from around the Lone Star state.  You can join us: pull up a chair, and it’s free.

The best songwriter in Texas, hands down, is Guy Clark.  His new album is Sometimes The Song Writes You, and all I can add to that is “Amen, brother.”  If you ever wanted to know (or not), Guy likes to write his songs on graph paper – you know, the kind with little blue squares.  “It’s just the tactile part of it, I guess,” he says.  “I write in longhand, on graph paper. It kind of keeps you in a straight line.”

MP3: “Sometimes The Song Writes You” by Guy Clark

The second-best songwriter in Texas – and he’ll readily agree with that – is Robert Earl Keen.  His newest is called The Rose Hotel, and it has lots of great playin’, nice singin’ and guest appearances by Greg Brown and Billy Bob Thornton.  Robert’s songs are funny and sometimes very insightful but they’re always keen.  Sorry.

MP3: “The Rose Hotel” by Robert Earl Keen

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Springsteen appears on “Spectacle” with Costello

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 20, 2009 by 30daysout


UPDATED: Read about the magical night at the Apollo at Backstreets Magazine.

Let me start off by saying “Spectacle” featuring Elvis Costello on the Sundance Channel is the best music program on TV…hands down. Costello asks insightful questions, artists like Lou Reed, Herbie Hancock, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Rosanne Cash and The Police, looked comfortable talking about themselves, and then there is the music. Costello usually plays with the artist, and whether they are his songs or their songs, the performances are outstanding.

This year’s guest list will feature, among others, Bruce Springsteen. The Boss is set to tape his segement at the Apollo Theater in Harlem on Sept. 25. It will be interesting to see if he spills the beans on the future of the E Street Band and to see what they play together. Costello recorded an excellent version of “Brilliant Disguise” and Bruce played “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” on the Vote for Change Tour a few years ago, so we can probably count on at least those two. All I know is that whatever they play, it will rock. There is no air date at this time, but stick with us and we’ll let you know when it will come to a TV set near you.

Elvis Costello Official website

Bruce Springsteen Official website

Official “Spectacle” website

The Sundance Channel Official website

“London Calling” – Springsteen/Costello/VanZandt/Grohl

Rosanne Cash duets with Springsteen, Costello on new CD

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 8, 2009 by 30daysout


The great Rosanne Cash will release her latest disc, The List, on Oct. 6 and it will feature duets with Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, with whom she recorded her hit “Seven Year Ache” a few years ago. Check out all the info at Rosanne’s website. We’ve included a clip of a tune called “April 5th,” which unfortunately is not on the track list, but is awesome. It features Cash with Costello and the great Kris Kristofferson. Enjoy.

Rock Moment: When Radio Was ‘Live’

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2008 by 30daysout


Once upon a time, radio was the great communicator.  Radio was totally of the moment – in the late 1950s through the earthshaking times between 1967 and 1970 – and it conveyed an immediacy, an urgency, that seismic changes were taking place in the culture.  Television, on the other hand, was more uptight and conservative and born to follow.  Today, radio’s preeminence has been eclipsed by the internet.

Some radio programmers were not content to merely play the latest hits.  They wanted their music live, so they went to the source and plugged right in.  The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) in the 1960s pioneered this practice, inviting top-of-the-pops groups like the Beatles, the Kinks and the Moody Blues to perform in their studios with little or no overdubbing.  The live-to-tape shows were then broadcast as a package later.

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