10 Songs, 31 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It seems fair to say that Feeling Mortal isn't the album Kris Kristofferson would’ve recorded at the start of his career—there’s a seasoned wisdom in its tracks that can only come with age. At 76, the veteran singer/songwriter has a lot to say about coping with time and heartache, as well as the satisfaction of living a life on one’s own terms. With a voice both time-worn and resilient, Kristofferson looks at death with a mix of acceptance and gratitude in the title track. “Bread for the Body” and “You Don’t Tell Me What to Do” are defiant outlaw anthems, balanced by the unsparing self-portraiture of “Stairway to the Bottom” and “Just Suppose.” From finely wrought character sketches like “Mama Stewart” to moody folk narratives like “Castaway,” Kristofferson proves himself a master of his craft. Producer Don Was sparingly embellishes the songs with backing from steel guitarist Greg Leisz and violinist/vocalist Sara Watkins, among other notables. The album closes with “Ramblin’ Jack,” a toast to folk legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliott that also shines a light on Kristofferson’s own uncompromising ethic as a musician.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It seems fair to say that Feeling Mortal isn't the album Kris Kristofferson would’ve recorded at the start of his career—there’s a seasoned wisdom in its tracks that can only come with age. At 76, the veteran singer/songwriter has a lot to say about coping with time and heartache, as well as the satisfaction of living a life on one’s own terms. With a voice both time-worn and resilient, Kristofferson looks at death with a mix of acceptance and gratitude in the title track. “Bread for the Body” and “You Don’t Tell Me What to Do” are defiant outlaw anthems, balanced by the unsparing self-portraiture of “Stairway to the Bottom” and “Just Suppose.” From finely wrought character sketches like “Mama Stewart” to moody folk narratives like “Castaway,” Kristofferson proves himself a master of his craft. Producer Don Was sparingly embellishes the songs with backing from steel guitarist Greg Leisz and violinist/vocalist Sara Watkins, among other notables. The album closes with “Ramblin’ Jack,” a toast to folk legend Ramblin’ Jack Elliott that also shines a light on Kristofferson’s own uncompromising ethic as a musician.

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