Feeling Mortal, by Kris Kristofferson

It’s easy to write Kris Kristofferson off as another country songwriter trawling the shallows of whiskey, diesels and cornpone imagery. But that’s a myopic read of the Rhodes scholar, William Blake devotee, Golden Gloves boxer and helicopter pilot—a skill the struggling songwriter once used to land in Johnny Cash’s yard for an impromptu demo tape drop. The stunt worked: Cash recorded “Sunday Morning Coming Down.”

Yet Kristofferson’s life has been far from charmed. His family objected to his songwriting aspirations and cut off ties; two of his marriages failed miserably. At his alcoholic nadir in the 1970s, Kristofferson guzzled three bottles of Jack Daniels every two days. If anyone deserves to title an album Feeling Mortal, it’s this 76-year-old country legend.

 

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