Water & Bridges

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
On his first new studio album in three years, Kenny Rogers hews to the strengths that have made him one of the bestselling country artists of all time -- namely, well-crafted story and love songs and basic acoustic-based backing, augmented by electric guitars, fiddles, dobros, pianos, steel guitar, and pop-styled string arrangements. Rogers has an ear for universal themes, and he brings them home with some of the most understated and effective interpretive singing of his storied career. Don Henley joins him on a solid, propulsive reminiscence of the old home place and its metaphysical hold on the soul in "Calling Me," and unheralded backup singer Sarah Buxton adds a ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
On his first new studio album in three years, Kenny Rogers hews to the strengths that have made him one of the bestselling country artists of all time -- namely, well-crafted story and love songs and basic acoustic-based backing, augmented by electric guitars, fiddles, dobros, pianos, steel guitar, and pop-styled string arrangements. Rogers has an ear for universal themes, and he brings them home with some of the most understated and effective interpretive singing of his storied career. Don Henley joins him on a solid, propulsive reminiscence of the old home place and its metaphysical hold on the soul in "Calling Me," and unheralded backup singer Sarah Buxton adds a moving second voice to "Someone Somewhere Tonight," a surging ballad about the first moments that signal a sea change in individual lives, even as love persists, Even so, it's Rogers's embodiment of his characters that makes this album so memorable. His delicate touch on "I Can't Unlove You" captures the remorse and enduring angst of a breakup that shouldn't have been, a story played out against a backdrop of churchy piano and a keening fiddle line. A stirring country ballad that's sure to generate some conversation, "The Last Ten Years Superman," is a Baedeker of the past decade's tumultuous social and political upheavals, with each verse bracketed by a roll call of departed cultural icons. Introspective and restrained, Water & Bridges is rich with life, and master craftsman Rogers makes sure we feel it all the way.
All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
If there was ever a record that sounded like a swan song, Kenny Rogers' fine, vulnerable Water & Bridges is it. The cover is a bit startling; who thought he'd ever age? He always looked like he was somewhere in his middle to late fifties. But that look is traceable if you look deep enough, while Rogers seems to wear his age proudly, like Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. The disc sounds like a goodbye to all the illusions, regrettable mistakes, and foolhardiness brought by living into the wisdom brought by the golden years. Rogers' career has seen so many heights, it's dizzying to think about. And he's still hanging out on Capitol while many of his contemporaries are struggling on independent labels, if they're recording at all. Water & Bridges isn't a perfect record, but it's a sincere one, and there are many tracks here that no other singer could pull off. And to be truthful, as in his very best material, Rogers has this uncanny ability to make everything on this record sound like it came from his own pen. It's a melancholy record about passage, from one stage to the next, of life, of love, of youth, of ignorance, of spirit. The 11 tracks here are all slow, all reflective. It's that particular brand of slick, soft, modern country and pop that he does better than anyone. There is one true dud in the bunch called "The Last Ten Years (Superman)," which is merely a novelty song about all the famous ones who passed on in the last decade. But there are so many tracks here where one can hear the spirit of mortality railing against the dying of the light. There is the title cut, which opens the disc and charts generations of fathers hurting their sons both born and unborn, where the protagonist finds himself as guilty as anybody he's charged; "Someone Is Me," about taking on civic responsibility; the killer "Someone Somewhere Tonight," which finds magic in the mere presence of everyday life. Don Henley joins Rogers on "Calling Me." It's a white man's country-soul tune that sounds too much like Curtis Mayfield's classic "People Get Ready." (Litigants get ready, set, go!) The vocal performances are stellar. "I Can Feel You Drifting" is a fine pop song, and it's a true heartbreaker. In the now thinning grain of Rogers' awesome voice, all the emptiness and sorrow and confusion in the world comes to call. Water & Bridges is as good as anything out there in 2006 and a whole lot better than most of the dross Nash Vegas shovels out. Hopefully Rogers scores big one more time.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/21/2006
  • Label: Liberty
  • UPC: 724356361423
  • Catalog Number: 63614

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kenny Rogers Primary Artist, Vocals
Bruce Dukov Violin
Eric Darken Percussion
Bruce Bouton Dobro, Steel Guitar
Mike Brignardello Bass
Paul Buckmaster Conductor
Darius Campo Violin
Matt Chamberlain Drums
Ronald Folsom Violin
Shannon Forrest Drums
Vince Gill Background Vocals
Kenny Greenberg Electric Guitar
Alan Grunfeld Violin
Warren Hartman Synthesizer
Paula Hochhalter Cello
Jim Hoke Accordion
Dann Huff Electric Guitar
John Jarvis Piano
Charles Judge Synthesizer, Keyboards
Gordon Mote Piano
Carole Mukogawa Viola
Russ Pahl Steel Guitar
Michael Rhodes Bass
Haim Shtrum Violin
Josefina Vergara Violin
Miwako Watanabe Violin
Biff Watson Acoustic Guitar
Jonathan Yudkin Bouzouki, Fiddle, Mandolin, Track Performer
Susan Chatman Violin
Karen Elaine Bakunin Viola
Russell Terrell Background Vocals
Suzie Katayama Cello
Bob Peterson Violin
Natalie Leggett Violin
Rudy Stein Cello
Bryan Sutton Acoustic Guitar
Perry Coleman Background Vocals
Tom Bukovac Electric Guitar
Dan Smith Cello
Sarah Buxton Background Vocals
Tereza Stanislav Violin
Dan Tobin Smith Cello
Matthew Funes Viola
Technical Credits
Bryan Loren Composer
Derek Allen Composer
Jeff Balding Engineer
Marc Beeson Composer
Paul Buckmaster String Arrangements
Steve Churchyard Engineer
Mark Hagen Engineer
Dann Huff Producer, Audio Production
Bat McGrath Composer
Justin Niebank Engineer
Tim Nichols Composer
Mike Reid Composer
Chris Rowe Digital Editing
Bryant Simpson Composer
Anthony Smith Composer
Craig Wiseman Composer
Jonathan Yudkin Arranger, Composer
Annie Roboff Composer
Jed Hackett Engineer
Billy Kirsch Composer
Walt Wilkins Composer
Davis Raines Composer
Andy Ackland Digital Editing
Adam Ayan Mastering
Joanna Carter Art Direction
Don Pfrimmer Composer
Tim Johnson Composer
Ashley Gorley Composer
Tommy Conners Composer
D. Vincent Williams Composer
Wade Kirby Composer
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