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Great Gonzos

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iTunes Review

Consider Jerry Jeff Walker a landlocked Jimmy Buffett: each singer/songwriter came from a country/folk background and created a mythos in which his let-it-all-hang out persona became a genre-transcending signature. In the case of Austin institution Jerry Jeff, that laissez-faire aesthetic dovetailed perfectly with his outlaw country leanings and engagingly loose-limbed approach to music-making, and Great Gonzos captures that spirit better than any other Walker anthology. It's not a best-of but a collection of the most representative tracks from Jerry Jeff's long, fruitful run on MCA Records. While a live version of Walker's signature tune "Mr. Bojangles" (among others) reminds us of the man's songwriting acumen, Gonzos also makes it clear that Walker could steal a song away from just about anybody. His covers of Guy Clark's "L.A. Freeway," Billy Joe Shaver's "Old Five and Dimers Like Me," and Willie Nelson's "Pick up the Tempo" give the authors' versions serious competition. (And if you thought the Walker/Buffett link was unsound, guess who wrote "Railroad Lady" with Jerry Jeff?)

Customer Reviews

JJW at his best

If you hate Rascal Flatts like I can appreciate Jerry Jeff Walker.....a true, gritty singer/songwriter from (not originally) the Lone Star State. This is true American Music. Mary J. Blige and all that BS be damned!!!! This is music.

One of my Favorite Albums of All Time

JJW is just fantastic. This album makes me utterly nostalgic, in a good way.

London homesick blues, Classic!

Take it from someone who IS from Texas, and who loves the lone star state thru and thru, forever and ever, amen. This song, especially this live version with the desperadoes "yee-haw"ing in the is a true anthem for anyone who loves Texas or good country music for that matter. Overall I DON'T call myself a country music fan, I actually grew up listening to the beastie boys and run dmc. But growing up in Texas, this was always in the background. Years later as an adult; when I found myself alone and cold, in the middle of the night standing watch on a boat in the navy; halfway to godforsaken cold Korea.......THIS was the song that I listened to over and over, then sang at the top of my lungs to keep myself awake. Classic. Anyone who has ever wanted to go home will be able to relate to JJW's heartbreaking, homesick lyrics.
Never gets old, I wish I had been there that night getting drunk with these guys!


Born: March 16, 1942 in Oneonta, NY

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Jerry Jeff Walker is strongly associated with the progressive ("outlaw") country scene that centered around Austin, TX, in the 1970s and included such figures as Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, the Lost Gonzo Band, Waylon Jennings, and Townes Van Zandt. Ironically, however, Walker is not a native Texan. He was born Ronald Clyde Crosby in upstate New York and recorded his first several albums while living in New York City. He didn't move to Austin until 1971, but he's remained a major...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Jerry Jeff Walker