Picks and Pans Review: Highwayman 2
Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson
A lot of the appeal of this permanent floating quartet is sheer camaraderie. It’s like those late-career movies when John Wayne showed up with Robert Mitchum or Kirk Douglas. They were easy to enjoy just because they were there.
But, old boy networks aside, there is plenty of dandy music on this album, from Lee Clayton’s vista-filled “Silver Stallion” to Willie Nelson’s aphoristic “Two Stories Wide”—”Life’s too short to worry/ And it’s too long to cry/ And it’s too deep to measure/ And it’s two stories wide.”
Nasal Nelson vocals notwithstanding, this is more of an ensemble effort than the foursome’s first LP in 1985. While the taking-turns-with-lead-vocals-and-harmonizing approach works particularly well on such songs as “We’re All in Your Corner,” it fits in with the general tone of congenial philosophizing.
It clearly pleases these wizened but hardly wheezing gentlemen to feel that they impart a little of the wisdom of the years, and it won’t hurt the rest of us to grant them the respect they’ve earned. (Columbia)