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Austin Sessions

The Austin Sessions

4.2 5
by Kris Kristofferson
Better known in recent years for his acting than his music, Rhodes scholar turned country outlaw Kris Kristofferson penned songs that formed a soundtrack for the early '70s. Janis Joplin's signature tune, "Me and Bobbie McGee," was Kris's; so was Johnny Cash's grim picture of a man on the edge of life's


Better known in recent years for his acting than his music, Rhodes scholar turned country outlaw Kris Kristofferson penned songs that formed a soundtrack for the early '70s. Janis Joplin's signature tune, "Me and Bobbie McGee," was Kris's; so was Johnny Cash's grim picture of a man on the edge of life's wasteland, "Sunday Morning Coming Down." For these sessions, Kristofferson surrounded himself with friends and admirers -- Steve Earle, Mark Knopfler, Catie Curtis, Jackson Browne, and Stephen Bruton among them -- in an Austin studio to record the songs that made him famous. THE AUSTIN SESSIONS revisits his most complex work stripped down to bone and sinew. "The Pilgrim: Chapter 33" is something of an autobiography rendered in Kristofferson's trademark gravelly voice; "For the Good Times" is a hauntingly beautiful and painful vignette with harmony vocals by Matraca Berg; and the classic "Why Me?" features harmonizing by Vince Gill and Alison Krauss. Looking back on his career with some of today's top singers and songwriters, Kristofferson's THE AUSTIN SESSIONS is both heartfelt and illuminating.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
For the follow-up to Moment of Forever, his first set of new original songs in years, Kris Kristofferson decided to record a set of stripped-down new versions of his classic songs. This project, released on Atlantic Records and entitled The Austin Sessions, was a star-studded affair, featuring harmony vocals from Jackson Browne, Steve Earle, Matraca Berg, Vince Gill, Marc Cohn, Alison Krauss, Catie Curtis, and Mark Knopfler. In one sense, it's easy to question why Kristofferson needed to record these songs again, since much of his catalog seems to consist of reinterpretations of these songs, but taken on its own terms, it's a good listen. In a way, Kristofferson's voice -- which never had too much range, even at its peak -- sounds better now that its older; the ragged edges and wear give it more character, which lend character to the songs. Ultimately, The Austin Sessions isn't a major addition to his catalog, but there's enough warmth and personality to these recordings to make it worth a listen for longtime fans.

Product Details

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kris Kristofferson   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Alison Krauss   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Matraca Berg   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Catie Curtis   Track Performer
Jackson Browne   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Marc Cohn   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Steve Earle   Background Vocals
Michael Baird   Drums
Stephen Bruton   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Jim Cox   Organ,Guitar,Piano,Accordion
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Vince Gill   Background Vocals,Track Performer
Mark Knopfler   Background Vocals,Track Performer,Guitar (Tremolo)
Fred Mollin   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion
Larry Paxton   Electric Bass,Acoustic Bass
Joe Spivey   Fiddle
John Willis   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin

Technical Credits

Kris Kristofferson   Liner Notes
Mike Davis   Engineer
Jay Landers   Executive Producer
Mark Linett   Engineer
Fred Mollin   Producer
Brian Nevin   Engineer
Robert Abriola   Artwork,Art Direction

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The Austin Sessions 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Danno-Ray More than 1 year ago
after one or two songs, you get the sense that The Austin Sessions was more than a recording. It was an event. Kristofferson is the guy that some listeners will realize in an "a-ha" moment, "oh, HE'S the guy that wrote that one." With songs previously recorded and made famous by Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin and a whole mess of other giants,(Gill, Krauss, Earle, J.Brown) now Kristofferson is here doing fresh versions of his own songs. A fine band and some heavyweight background singers make this collection at once sentimental and contemporary. The artist brings out inner struggles of regret, love sadness in several cuts, including For The Good Times. A personal favorite was The Silver Tongued Devil And I. He often reminds me of a substantial singer-songwriter who still can bring the brilliance after many years of success. Although everyone has followed their own path, if you've ever found yourself jonesing for a smoke, a drink, a fix or a person, there's something you can related to here. If you've never been there, Kristofferson can tell you a story that makes you feel like you lived it. For even a casual collector of American music, this cd is a required entry.
gnuguy More than 1 year ago
Kris and the music are great. The CD does not play well in the car. Don't typically have this problem with other discs - terribly annoying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Mr. Kristofferson has, and still is, writing some of Country's most powerful ballads. I really do not think anyone could perform these classics better than the person that penned them. I feel this is a classic work of art.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great CD includes the recording Fugitive.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These are better interpretations of Kris's songs than his original versions. Anytime he can get some good players to help him deliver his songs it's worth a listen. The songs are the deal here, and they are timeless and extraordinary.