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Published: 2011/12/21
by John Adamian

Jerry Jeff Walker
Jerry Jeff Walker


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.”

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