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Closing In On the Fire

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Album Review

With so many classic country and western artists making comebacks in the 1990s, it was only natural that Waylon Jennings did so too. But, rather than follow the surfeit of "comebacks," Jennings took his own sweet time, and you are rewarded justly with Closing In on the Fire. It's a fabulous album, spotlighting Jennings' powerful vocals as well as his direct, to-the-bone songwriting. Most of the record rocks surprisingly hard, especially Tony Joe White's swampy title track. Guest appearances by Sheryl Crow, Mark Knopfler, Mary Stuart, and others are a plus, but this is Waylon's record — one of his finest in the last 20 years — and the man really doesn't need the help.


Born: 15 June 1937 in Littlefield, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

If any one performer personified the outlaw country movement of the '70s, it was Waylon Jennings. Though he had been a professional musician since the late '50s, it wasn't until the '70s that Waylon, with his imposing baritone and stripped-down, updated honky tonk, became a superstar. Jennings rejected the conventions of Nashville, refusing to record with the industry's legions of studio musicians and insisting that his music never resemble the string-laden, pop-inflected sounds that were coming...
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