The Highwaymen

The Road Goes on Forever

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For their third album, The Road Goes on Forever, the Highwaymen hired Don Was to produce. Was had previously worked with every member of the group but Johnny Cash, so he was theoretically a natural choice and, on the surface, The Road Goes on Forever has all the trappings of being the classic Highwaymen album. It has great material, from standards like Dallas Frazier's "True Love Travels on a Gravel Road" to contemporary favorites by Steve Earle ("The Devil's Right Hand") and Billy Joe Shaver ("Live Forever") to new cuts from all four members. It has a crisp sound and a focused production, with fine performances from everyone involved. The problem is, the whole thing sounds too damn serious; Was and the Highwaymen may have all the right cards, but they don't know how to play them. Instead of capturing a kinetic energy or intense introspection, The Road Goes On Forever just sounds studious and overlabored, as if the group wanted to produce music that lived up to their mythological legacy, not the music itself.

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