The Austin Sessions

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kerry Dexter
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:...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kerry Dexter
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/24/1999
  • Label: Atlantic
  • UPC: 075678320828
  • Catalog Number: 83208
  • Sales rank: 3,339

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
Greg Calbi Mastering
Jay Landers Executive Producer
Mark Linett Engineer
Fred Mollin Producer
Brian Nevin Engineer
Robert Abriola Artwork, Art Direction
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    David Gray CD Draw the Line

    Great CD includes the recording Fugitive.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An Original Source

    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.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Always a Favorite

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Kristofferson lives on...

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Give it a listen

    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.

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews