10 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jerry Jeff Walker closed out his wildest decade with an album both casual and intimate, filled with the comfort of fine songcraft. Released in 1979, Too Old to Change isn’t about Walker’s need to grow up — it’s a simply a statement of slowing down: “I've been too long riding this range / Running wild without reins / Always traveling against the grains / And pretty girls deserve better / I'm too old to change.” The album isn’t a corny attempt at maturity, but you can feel its author finally accepting that it’s time to stop and smell the roses. “Mountains of Mexico,” “Old Nashville Cowboy” and “Then Came the Children” are hushed without sacrificing the ragged quality that is the essence of Jerry Jeff. The album’s one truly raucous moment is “I Ain’t Living Long Like This,” which proves that Walker could have made a pretty good punk rock album if he hadn’t decided to ease up during the late ‘70s. The album ends with its two best songs: a pitch-perfect take on Willis Alan Ramsey’s immortal “Northeast Texas Women” and a sweet, sorrowful, swaying rendition of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jerry Jeff Walker closed out his wildest decade with an album both casual and intimate, filled with the comfort of fine songcraft. Released in 1979, Too Old to Change isn’t about Walker’s need to grow up — it’s a simply a statement of slowing down: “I've been too long riding this range / Running wild without reins / Always traveling against the grains / And pretty girls deserve better / I'm too old to change.” The album isn’t a corny attempt at maturity, but you can feel its author finally accepting that it’s time to stop and smell the roses. “Mountains of Mexico,” “Old Nashville Cowboy” and “Then Came the Children” are hushed without sacrificing the ragged quality that is the essence of Jerry Jeff. The album’s one truly raucous moment is “I Ain’t Living Long Like This,” which proves that Walker could have made a pretty good punk rock album if he hadn’t decided to ease up during the late ‘70s. The album ends with its two best songs: a pitch-perfect take on Willis Alan Ramsey’s immortal “Northeast Texas Women” and a sweet, sorrowful, swaying rendition of Kris Kristofferson’s “Me and Bobby McGee.”

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