According to the title of his latest album, Kris Kristofferson is feeling mortal. But unlike his old pal Johnny Cash, Kristofferson’s musical response to growing old is sanguine and lyrical, even contented.
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
Star rating: * * * *
Vocally, the 76-year-old was sounding his age – no bad thing for a country artist spinning a conversational rebel yarn or communicating a sage truth or two. But there was an ageless, touching spirit to Kristofferson’s songs, low-key integrity and simple troubadour performance which suggest he could truck on like this for as long as he likes.
Kristofferson was as relaxed a presence as always – relaxed enough not to stress the technical detail, such as bringing along the right harmonica, or to providing ad lib commentaries on some songs or dispensing with one of his signature songs, Me and Bobby McGee, in the first ten minutes, where others would have saved it for the encore.
The vocal audience lapped up the romance of his storytelling, not to mention his silver fox credentials. Judging by the heckles during Help Me Make It Through The Night, the ladies still love cool Kris. But a moment later, the room was silenced by the spellbinding tale of Casey’s Last Ride.
Just as the tone was becoming unwaveringly hangdog, daughter Kelly joined him for a spirited bitchfight of a duet, before Kristofferson delivered Sunday Morning Coming Down. “Sounds like church” he commented of the devotional response from his disciples.