So, my buddy came across this at a record store the other day and I just couldn’t pass it up. All these country stars on one record that I presumed was a soundtrack or some sort of concept album. As it turns out, this album is a musical telling the story of Jesse James with the musicians playing individual roles. For instance, Levon plays Jesse James, Johnny Cash plays his father Frank and Emmylou plays Zerelda James. Surprisingly, these songs hold up well. I’m especially fond of Emmylou’s country crooners and some songs you would never guess were narrative driven if you didn’t know the difference. Levon’s songs tend to be upbeat and groovy with Levon behind the kit. The backing musicians are fantastic and plentiful featuring guitars, mandolin, banjo, piano, slide guitar and strings. This was a great album to stumble upon and I recommend it.
Highlights: “Heaven Ain’t Ready For You Yet” “Northfield: The Plan”