The Highwaymen - The Road Goes On Forever 10th Anniversary Edition

For those that don't know "The Highwaymen" were a country music supergroup comprised of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristoferson and Willie Nelson which recorded a trio of albums and this release is a 10th anniversary edition of the third of these albums, "The Road Goes On Forever". Sadly since that release in 1995 The Highwaymen have been reduced by 50%, Waylon Jennings died in 2002, followed by Johnny Cash in 2003.

"The Road Goes On Forever" was produced by Don Was, producer of the Rolling Stones latest album as well as successful albums in the past by Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt and Iggy Pop! It is perhaps because of Wass non-country background that the production is infused with that of a rock record.

As well as compositions by the four Highwaymen the album includes songs from June Carter Cash, Robert Earl Keen, Billy Joe Slaver, Stephen Brunton and to kick proceedings off Steve Earle's "The Devils Right Hand", a morality tale about how his momma always told him the gun was the devils right hand. The instrumentation on that track is quite rock, but different moods are in effect throughout. "Live Forever" is sung to a background of squeeze box and mandolin. "End Of Understanding" swings like a Texas honky tonk of a Saturday night. "Is It What It Is" issued as a single ten years ago features a bluesy harmonica and is similar to the Everley  Brothers "Price Of Love". The Hymn like "I Do Believe" features some neat dobro playing. A latin flavour garnished "Here Comes That Rainbow Again. Also featured is the much covered "True Love Travels On A Gravel Road" - a great version to add to those by Elvis Presley, Percy Sledge and one time son in law of Johnny Cash - Nick Lowe.

In addition to the original album there is a previously unreleased song "If He Come Back Again" as well as six demos, five of which are of songs not on the album. For the real enthusiast there is a CD/DVD version which consists of a 20 minute behind the scene documentary and a "It Is What It Is" video.

Derek McCann

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