August 24: Kris Kristofferson released The Austin Sessions in 1999

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose,
And nothin’ ain’t worth nothin’ but it’s free,
Feelin’ good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues,
And buddy, that was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

For us this album contains ultimate versions of many of Kris’s best songs. Not many music writers seems to agree… too bad, because if you really listen to this album you will get it. This is the way these songs are supposed to sound, stripped down and sung with all of his big heart & soul.


From Wikipedia:

Released August 24, 1999
Genre Country
Length 47:16
Label Atlantic
Producer Fred Mollin

The Austin Sessions is an album by Kris Kristofferson, released on Atlantic Records in 1999. It features stripped-down versions of Kristofferson’s most famous material, including “Me and Bobby McGee”, “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night”. Several well-known artists contributed vocals to the album, including Steve Earle, Jackson Browne,Matraca Berg, Vince Gill, Marc Cohn, Alison Krauss, Catie Curtis and Mark Knopfler.

Track listing:

  1. “Me and Bobby McGee” (Kristofferson, Fred Foster) – 4:31
  2. “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” – 5:20
  3. “For the Good Times” – 3:59
  4. “The Silver Tongued Devil and I” – 3:37
  5. “Help Me Make It Through the Night” – 4:10
  6. “Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)” – 5:18
  7. “To Beat the Devil” – 4:30
  8. “Who’s to Bless and Who’s to Blame” – 3:29
  9. “Why Me” – 2:58
  10. “Nobody Wins” – 4:05
  11. “The Pilgrim, Chapter 33” – 2:41
  12. “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends” – 2:38

From Allmusic (Stephen Thomas Erlewine):
For the follow-up to Moment of Forever, his first set of new original songs in years, Kris Kristofferson decided to record a set of stripped-down new versions of his classic songs. This project, released on Atlantic Records and entitled The Austin Sessions, was a star-studded affair, featuring harmony vocals from Jackson Browne, Steve Earle, Matraca Berg, Vince Gill, Marc Cohn, Alison Krauss, Catie Curtis, and Mark Knopfler. In one sense, it’s easy to question why Kristofferson needed to record these songs again, since much of his catalog seems to consist of reinterpretations of these songs, but taken on its own terms, it’s a good listen. In a way, Kristofferson’s voice — which never had too much range, even at its peak — sounds better now that its older; the ragged edges and wear give it more character, which lend character to the songs. Ultimately, The Austin Sessions isn’t a major addition to his catalog, but there’s enough warmth and personality to these recordings to make it worth a listen for longtime fans.

For The Good Times:

Me & Bobby McGee – Live 1979:

Kris Kristofferson – The Austin Sessions on Spotify:

– Hallgeir & Egil

One thought on “August 24: Kris Kristofferson released The Austin Sessions in 1999”

  1. It’s true. These bare bones recordings are beautiful, very nuanced, and as personal as it gets. Much like live performances, this is the heart of folk music. I’ve always loved the pure performances–as unrepeatable as an Jackson Pollock Abstract-expressionist painting–of folk artists like Kris and Bob. It is also the heart of full-throated rock and roll.

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