After fumbling a few chords and forgetting more than a few words, a weary and weathered Kris Kristofferson paused briefly during his performance at a New West Records day party during SXSW 2006. He then humbly mumbled, "Just imagine this beautiful thing that sounds as good as Bob Dylan." The funny thing was it already did. The struggle and strain in Kristofferson's notoriously rugged voice mirrored his own grind against the hands of time. Such is the appeal of the singer-songwriter's first album in 11 years, This Old Road. The record finds Kristofferson, who is now 70 years old, looking back at his illustrious life with little more than a guitar and a harmonica and questioning the very things that have defined his career—freedom, love and religion—while his social consciousness has only increased. The country music icon directly addresses issues surrounding the war in "In the News" and "The Burden of Freedom" while "Pilgrim's Progress" poses the question, "Am I young enough to believe in revolution?" Yes, indeed. The outlaws will ride again.
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