Kris Kristofferson: Feeling Mortal

krisKris Kristofferson
Feeling Mortal
(KK Records)

With a delicate backing vocal and acoustic guitar, the simple title track (simple in construction, not impact) opens the new 10-song collection, Feeling Mortal, from 76-year-old Kris Kristofferson. The man’s warbly vocal, loose guitar and fantastic songwriting is back on with his first release of new music in four years. The second tune, the story song (and who writes story songs like this better then K.K.?) “Mama Steward” sees Kristofferson barely breathing through a truly poignant tune with perfect electric guitar touches from Mark Goldenberg.

The rhythm section here (Aaron Sterling on drums and Sean Hurley bass) pick things up on “Bread For the Body” with a Sarah Watkins’ violin and backing vocals. Harmonica and mandolin open “You Don’t Tell Me What To Do,” basically Kristofferson telling you how it is, as if you ever had any doubt to how this man lives his life. A sadly Hawaiian-sounding pedal steel from master Greg Leisz (who is almost on every song here) pushes “Stairway To the Bottom.” “Just Suppose” again sees a lot of slide and a real dragging-through-love-gone-by sad vocal. The last song, “Ramblin’ Jack,” brings the full compliment to this straight-ahead story snapper, with keyboardist Matt Rollins’ accordion leading the way.

Recorded in three days with producer Don Was and released this on his own KK Records, Feeling Mortal is simply another great collection of songs from one of our national treasures, Kris Kristofferson.

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