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|1. The Devil's Right Hand|
|2. Live Forever|
|3. Everyone Gets Crazy|
|4. It Is What It Is|
|5. I Do Believe|
|6. The End Of Understanding|
|7. True Love Travels A Gravel Road|
|8. Death And Hell|
|9. Waiting For A Long Time|
|10. Here Comes That Rainbow Again|
See all 17 tracks on this disc
|1. Live Forever (Menu Loop)|
|2. Live Forever (Teaser Film)|
|3. It Is What It Is (Music Video)|
Track 1, 'The devil's right hand' is a rousing opener whereas the gentler, acoustic (almost 'folky') feel of the next track, 'Live forever', is an enjoyable contrast. Definitely more mellow than anything on their first album. The mandolin in that track and the piano and steel guitar in track 3 ('Everyone gets crazy') tends to increase the feel of this being a slightly over-produced album in the traditional mould of modern American country music. But that, of course, reflects my own impression and preferences.
Track 4, 'It is what it is' plunges us back into a heavier, guitar and harmonica-driven track. This has all the energy we expect from the combination of 4 such diverse and yet close musicians. A powerful track.
Track 5, 'I do believe' once again comes as a sharp contrast with it's acoustic sound (guitar and dobro) and its religious but unsentimental theme.
Track 6, 'The end of understanding' strikes me as being a slightly schmalzy take on the type of country music that flooded the airwaves in the late 50's and early 60's .... the type of music that Jim Reeves made his own. He did it far better.
Track 7, 'True love travels a gravel road' begins well.Read more ›
Most of the songs here are covers, often of songs that one or other of the members had written recorded as a solo artist. The set opens with a Steve Earle song, The devil's right hand, which gets the album off to a great start. I do believe (written by Waylon), End of understanding (written by Willie), Death and Hell (written by Johnny and June) and Here comes that rainbow again (written by Kris) ensure that all the members of the Highwaymen get a share of the songwriting royalties as well as the recording royalties.
Elvis once recorded True love travels on a gravel ro0ad (a Dallas Frazier song), but it's not one of his famous recordings. I like his version but I also like the Highwaymen's version. Billie Joe Shaver, who provided Waylon with most of the songs for one of his classic albums (Honky tonk heroes), wrote Live forever. Kevin Welch, who established himself as a songwriter long before making it as a singer, wrote Everyone gets crazy. Stephen Bruton wrote one song (Waiting for a long time) and co-wrote another (It is what it is). Robert Earl Keen, who eventually got the chance to record his own music, contributed the title track.
There are no real surprises here - you know who Johnny, Willie, Waylon and Kris are, you know the kind of music they record and you'll find it here. All four singers have recorded many more important albums than this but if you've already got their important music and still want more, you'll enjoy this album.