Picks and Pans Review: Vh1 Storytellers
Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson (American)
One of the better features of the VH1 channel has been its Storytellers series showcasing popular singers and songwriters. This cozy, relaxed recording of a June 1997 broadcast is a good example, with Cash and Nelson chatting amiably and singing many of their hits. The chatter is more idle than snappy, but the music is splendid. Nelson, especially, sounds in better voice than he has recently. While he tosses off his classic "Crazy," he offers more thoughtful versions of his always poignant "Funny How Time Slips Away," "Night Life" and "Me and Paul." Cash, the less artful composer, still sounds like his sturdy old yarn-spinning self on "Don't Take Your Guns to Town," "Worried Man," "I Still Miss Someone" and "Folsom Prison Blues," which, he notes, he wrote while serving in the Air Force in Germany in the 1950s.
At one point the two old sidekicks lament the absence of Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson, with, whom they formed the Highwaymen in the '80s. Cash and Nelson carry the load by themselves quite nobly, though, in what is a landmark in pop country music.
Bottom Line: A pair of aging pals prove they haven't lost their touch
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