This heartfelt project was recorded under probably the most extraordinary circumstances that any recording artist or producer has ever faced: dealing with the challenges of Alzheimer’s and still capturing the artist’s musical gifts. - Spooner
There’s no filler on this collection of both life’s trials and triumphs. It kicks off with Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talking,” that would certainly have the late Harry Nilsson talking, if only to say how smooth daughter Ashley Campbell’s banjo rolls on through it while her daddy’s vocals sail skyward.
Besides the title track that perfectly and gently lowers the curtain, there are three other Webb diamonds sparkling throughout. They all fit in as if they were written just for this. Funny thing about C&W (Campbell & Webb)…they are timeless.
“Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me)” is a never-recorded jewel introduced by a snippet of Roger’s original demo, so the listener gets to hear how a song goes from bare bones to a polished gem. We have Glen’s wife, Kim, to thank for this, because she kept Roger Miller’s demo tape for 30-some years.
Catherine Marx not only provides classic country piano fills, she also captures the gorgeous keyboard suspensions that Jimmy Webb crafts.
(Carl) Jackson, who started with Campbell in 1972 as a banjo player wizard, sets things on fire, reprising Jerry Reed’s dizzying guitar rolls and runs on “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”
Besides Ashley Campbell’s banjo, she sings with her brothers Shannon and Cal on “Postcard From Paris,” whose lyrics take on new meaning here: the background response, “I wish you were here” comes into full focus as the song fades. The Campbell kids and Glen’s fans do get some of their wish, for Glen Campbell was certainly here for this recording. He gives it his all, with not only his incredible vocals but his deep understanding of lyrics.
Just like always, there is still that Campbell Seventh Son magic in this, the kind he always brought to the world of music he created—for other artists, himself, and lucky listeners for 60 years. The only thing I can think of that might have added even more magic would have been a tune from John Hartford, who wrote Campbell’s theme song, “Gentle On My Mind.” Still, I give Adios a perfect score, based on my “reach for it” principle: When I hear something that really grabs me right away, I find myself reaching for my guitar, if not to play along, sometimes just to hold onto while I listen. This one had me reaching for it before Campbell got to “Skipping over the ocean like a stone”.
The Producer’s Chair: Has there ever been a moment in time when you have been discouraged in any way, about our industry?
Carl Jackson: Certainly, there have been brief times of discouragement, but I’ve had more than my share of blessings in this business and have no room to complain. I never get discouraged now… unless I turn on “country” radio!!! LOL
According to his daughter Ashley, the (album) project stands as a heartfelt thank you and goodbye to his fans, via Campbell's interpretations of some of his favorite songs, from "Funny How Time Slips Away" to "Everybody's Talkin'."
Ghost On The Canvas was a tearful farewell embrace on the platform, See You There worked as the final wave from the departing train.
Adiós feels instead like a love letter left behind, a rush of goodbyes and appreciations and parting thoughts jotted down to make sure he (Glen) leaves nothing unsaid.
Campbell proves once again that he’s his generation’s finest interpreter of others’ songs....
The lone misstep is the opening cover of Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin’” which lacks the youthful optimism in Harry Nilsson’s definitive 1969 reading.
...nearly every song has at least one heartstring-tugging allusion to departure or mortality, and for the most part, those lines work. Campbell delivers them with the kind of class and grace that characterized much of his career.
...it’s hard not to imagine the farm as Campbell himself. And when he sings of the “five dollar guitar/that led to a fortune/I’d trade just to go back in time,” it’s even harder not to wish that he could.
“Funny How Time Slips Away” gets a beautiful treatment, along with a cameo appearance from its’ writer, Willie Nelson.
He (Glen) tips the hat to his longtime friend Jerry Reed on a sterling cover of “A Thing Called Love,” and sounds as traditional as he ever has on his take of George Jones’ “She Thinks I Still Care.”
...the dramatic “Adios” is sure to get much of the attention, given its’ title – and Glen’s passionate performance.
...of the four Webb cuts, perhaps the most poignant is a sobering version of “Postcard From Paris,” which includes his three children with wife Kim. If you can make it through these heartfelt lyrics, and not be moved by their emotion and bittersweet-ness, you need to check your heart – to make sure you have one.
...the Roger Miller-written “Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me)”: a performance for the ages....
...the Jackson-penned “Arkansas Farmboy”: a nostalgic look back at his formative years. The song may be the most moving of the lot here, because in spite of all that has happened, that boy from Delight, Arkansas achieved all of his boyhood dreams, and then some. And, thankfully, nothing will ever be able to change that. This is simply one you’ve got to hear – and hear again!
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