Iconic songwriter Kris Kristofferson will celebrate his 80th birthday in June with the release of a 25-track collection of songs recorded over three days in the summer of 2014. The Cedar Creek Sessions, recorded in Austin, Texas, marks the legendary songwriter’s first LP since Feeling Mortal in January 2013.
The two-disc set features some of Kristofferson’s most revered tunes, including “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” which was first cut by Ray Stevens and then Johnny Cash, in addition to being included on Kristofferson’s 1970 debut LP. Cash’s version earned the songwriter a CMA award for Song of the Year. The set also includes new stripped-down versions of three of the most recorded songs of the latter half of the 20th century: “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” “For the Good Times” and “Me and Bobby McGee.”
Produced by Tamara Saviano and Shawn Camp, with the latter playing lead guitar, the Cedar Creek Sessions also features Kevin Smith on bass, Michael Ramos on keyboard and Mike Meadows on drums. Kristofferson’s longtime friend Sheryl Crow arrived on day three of the sessions to join Kristofferson on “The Loving Gift.” Recorded in 1973 by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, and later by Kenny Rogers and Dottie West, this marks the first time Kristofferson has recorded the song.
Kristofferson turns 80 on June 22nd. In March, he was the focus of “The Life and Songs of Kris Kristofferson,” a special tribute concert in Nashville featuring performances by Willie Nelson, Eric Church and Emmylou Harris. The Cedar Creek Sessions will be released June 17th.
Here’s the The Cedar Creek Sessions track list:
“The Loving Gift” (with special guest Sheryl Crow)
“The Sabre and the Rose”
“The Law Is for the Protection of the People”
“It No Longer Matters What I Do”
“Stagger Mountain Tragedy”
“The Wife You Save”
“Lay Me Down and Love the World Away”
“The Bigger the Fool (The Harder the Fall)”
“Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down”
“Spooky Lady’s Revenge”
“Forever in Your Love”
“Me and Bobby McGee”
“Broken Freedom Song”
“Casey’s Last Ride”
“For the Good Times”
“Help Me Make It Through the Night”
“Jody and the Kid”
“Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)”
“To Beat the Devil”