Various Artists
Nothing Left to Lose: A Tribute to Kris Kristofferson CD - Incidental Music

Here’s all I know about Kris Krisstofferson: He used to run around with Janis Joplin and Willie Nelson, he was a singer and I think he’s an actor. The liner notes to this album plucked me out of a line-up of countless others who are surely just like me - ignorant. The notes state that this is not an album that is to “preach to the converted,” rather it is to show a whole new generation what it has been missing. Nothing Left to Lose brings together an esteemed roster of artists to pay tribute to Kristofferson. Acts like Califone, Grandaddy, Calexico, Creeper Lagoon, Radar Brothers, Richard Buckner, Handsome Family and Howe Gelb (of Giant Sand), among others, contribute to the album. ¶ I’ve never bothered to listen to a Kristofferson album. But after hearing the intricate storytelling and sorrowful tone of the songs, I have been digging through used record bins in town trying to find these songs. Many acts such as Dianna Darby’s “Jesus Was A Capricorn” and Zmrzlina with Milk Chopper’s version of “Me and Bobby McGee” wring out so much emotion and soul through quiet performing allow the songs to stand far above the artist singing them. ¶ As a whole, there is not a throwaway on the album. The tone shifts slightly while retaining cohesion throughout the entire production. Grandaddy’s boot stompin’ “Best Of All Possible Worlds” melds with Califone’s kitchen sink blues rendition of “Border Lord,” as Howe Gelb and Creeper Lagoon’s sensitive quiet allow the words and feel of Kristofferson to spring through the air throughout. If you are a fan of any of the aforementioned artists you will not be disappointed with this tribute. Get it and then get to the record bins before everyone else catches on to what they’ve been missing. (Pat Wensink)



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