Jerry Jeff Walker

Lone Wolf: The Best of Jerry Jeff Walker

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This compilation draws seven tracks each from the two albums Jerry Jeff Walker released on Elektra Records: Jerry Jeff (1978) and Too Old to Change (1979). Walker moved to Elektra after a successful run on MCA and promptly got lost. While that can in part be attributed to record company convulsions, it's also apparent listening to the performances of these songs of dissolution that their singer was taking their themes to heart -- he sounds hung over most of the time. Of course, that's an appropriate condition for titles that include Guy Clark's "Comfort and Crazy," Keith Sykes' "I'm Not Strange" and Rodney Crowell's "I Ain't Living Long Like This." Sometimes on these songs, Walker recalls the easygoing hedonism of Jimmy Buffett, but unlike Buffett, he sounds like he was still living the life he was singing about and is the worse for wear. It's good to have this material back in print, and it is a significant chapter in Walker's history, but it isn't Walker at his best.

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