Entertainment Weekly (8/22-29/03, p.132) - "...The outlaw inspires the first great [tribute album] in years..." - Rating: A-
Includes liner notes by Chet Flippo.
Digitally remastered using HDCD technology.
This tribute to the late, great outlaw country pioneer Waylon Jennings arrives on the heels of LONESOME, ON'RY & MEAN, a Waylon tribute that featured artists of a less commercial bent like Guy Clark and Robert Earl Keen. Unsurprisingly (seeing as how this one packs more star power via Kenny Chesney, Travis Tritt, Deana Carter, et al), I'VE ALWAYS BEEN CRAZY made a bigger sales impact. No stranger to rootsy self-examination, John Mellencamp seems a natural fit for the jauntily introspective "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way." Travis Tritt hews closest to the traditional Waylon sound on "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean," but Dwight Yoakam adds a punchy lilt to "Stop the World and Let Me Off."
Though Waylon's widow, Jessi Colter, amps up "Storms Never Last," Alison Krauss's version of "You Asked Me To" drops things down to about the same place as the original recording of the former. While it's nice to see that Kid Rock was able to restrain himself from turning his duet with Chesney on "Luckenbach, Texas" into a rap-metal monstrosity, it's equally refreshing to listen to Metallica's James Hetfield turn, "Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out of Hand," into a raging cow-metal tune. Don't forget, Waylon was always about changing things up, and his legacy is that of bringing rock's rawness into country.