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Published: 2011/12/21
by John Adamian

Jerry Jeff Walker
Jerry Jeff Walker

Raven

Texas troubadour Jerry Jeff Walker would evidently rather ramble—rolling down the road, playing music with friends and having a good time—than record an album. At least that’s the story he tells in the liner notes of his 1972 self-titled album, released for the first time on CD by the Australian label Raven Records. Walker’s tunes are testaments to that preference, celebrating a rootless honky-tonk, outlaw country lifestyle peppered with run-ins with cops and a longing for the Lonestar State (or a longing to leave it). Walker is consistently hit-or-miss—if you can say that. Every record has a tune that drags on too long or that overplays its bar-room revelry. Still, when he’s good—usually when doing slow and sad versions of other people’s songs—Walker is up there with Townes Van Zandt and other greats. The standouts here are his versions of Guy Clark’s “That Old Time Feeling” and “L.A. Freeway.”

Comments

There are 3 comments associated with this post

peter December 24, 2011, 22:36:03

You obviously have no idea what Jerry Jeff is about. Go see one of his shows, afterward listen to his records, then try again to write about him. It is clear that you have missed the mark with this writing.

scott December 26, 2011, 17:50:43

I’m inclined to agree with Peter, even if texas folk blues isn’t your bag. JJW is a leading practioner of the style and this album might just be the jewel in that crown. As such, that review seemed superficial, at best, and not very objective, reducing JJW’s efforts to formulaic musical fodder. But that’s what these forums are for, consider my objection to this review as my endorsement of this release.

Ed January 11, 2012, 10:36:18

I also agree with Peter and Scott. Sounds like a blogger who’s never been to a single Jerry Jeff show or knows his story. This recording is full of true classics, its a shame a new generation my overlook it because anyone can call themselves a music critic on the internet these days. Buy this CD, read Jerry Jeff’s book, most important, go see him play!

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