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All Star Jam [Coming Home/Chordant]

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21/3/2001

Review

This album presents the audio portion of the television special Coming Home: Ralph Emery and Friends, which found a group of country stars gathering on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville without an audience for a session of song and story swapping. Emery himself and the stories are absent along with the visuals, but what remains is a collection of largely off-the-cuff performances of country hits from several decades. In many cases, the artists essentially recreate their hit recordings, but the most interesting tracks are the ones on which people do songs not associated with them or help each other out in remembering how the tunes go. Willie Nelson's rendition of the 1940s pop hit "Linda," for example, is so casual it ends abruptly, but not before Nelson has put his stamp on the song, and one of the funnier moments comes when Bobby Bare hands over the narrated section of his hit "Detroit City" to the famed stutterer Mel Tillis, who navigates so well he rushes the tempo. The novelty group the Geezinslaws fit right in with a grammatically challenged version of the show tune "On the Street Where You Live," which becomes "On the Street Where You Live At" in their interpretation. And Porter Wagoner, the reigning monarch of the Grand Ole Opry, contributes a good-natured version of his 1962 hit "Misery Loves Company," joking about the instrumental break that never comes. But the most dominant presence is Kris Kristofferson, who opens the proceedings with "Me and Bobby McGee," his most famous song, and closes them with "Here Comes That Rainbow Again," a terrific 1981 song that never got the recognition it deserved. This may not be the place to start a country music collection, but fans should find it a delight. ~ William Ruhlmann
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Me and Bobby McGee Kris Kristofferson 3:33
  3. 2 Highwayman 2:57
  4. 3 Georgia on My Mind Willie Nelson 3:30
  5. 4 Linda Willie Nelson 1:31
  6. 5 On the Street Where You Live The Geezinslaws 2:40
  7. 6 Memories to Burn Gene Watson 2:49
  8. 7 Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town Mel Tillis 2:37
  9. 8 You Don't Know Me Mickey Gilley 2:24
  10. 9 Detroit City Bobby Bare 3:5
  11. 10 Always Have, Always Will Janie Fricke 3:51
  12. 11 Misery Loves Company Porter Wagoner 2:51
  13. 12 Fly Me to the Moon Lorrie Morgan 3:44
  14. 13 I Just Can't Help Believin' B.J. Thomas 3:12
  15. 14 For the Good Times Kris Kristofferson 3:39
  16. 15 I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I'm Going to Be a Diamond Someday) Billy Joe Shaver 1:59
  17. 16 Galveston Glen Campbell 2:46
  18. 17 I'll Get over You Crystal Gayle 3:18
  19. 18 What Mayberry Means to Me George Lindsey 2:13
  20. 19 Here Comes That Rainbow Again Kris Kristofferson 2:36

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