It's night, and his collar is turned up against the chill breeze as he hunches over to light a cigarette. It's hard to tell if he's entering or leaving the roadhouse, but either way you figure he's got many miles to go before he sleeps. There's a photo on the back of a long-out-of-print Jerry Jeff Walker album that kind of sums it all up. Remembering your laughing eyes and all we said I love you too, hmmmmm. Hmmmm My wakin' thoughts of you are just extensions of my dreams Without you here beside me I'll never know just what they mean As the morning light stretched in across my bed, I thought of you, hmmmm Remebering your laughing eyes and all we said I love you too, hmmmm As all my thoughts of you pass 'fore my face a thousad times The way they race my heart I cannot say it all in lines. As the morning light stretched in across my bed I thought of you, hmmmm.
Somehow, one gets the idea that that is how Jerry Jeff has always pictured himself. He agreed to do it; he liked the idea. He became, along with Willie Nelson and Asleep At The Wheel, one of the arbiters of the internationally famous Austin musical community. Standing on the road has been my song before, hmmmmm And now somehow I'm forced to see me there once more And that's this song. It seems our love was destined to be caught in other nets But the love I feel for you Id chance again without regrets. This Bobby Rambo-penned devil-may-care tune was originally recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker for his 1981 Reunion album. Thirty five years later, Walker was back in the studio laying down guitar and vocals for a Randy Rogers Band cover version.
His songs are the way he makes the world make sense, how he passes on stories of the people he meets, the way he feels on a given morning. He's a hero to me. Most folks know that story - how Jerry Jeff moved to Austin, Texas in the early Seventies and reinvented himself as a Lone Star country-rocker. . So I called Jerry Jeff Walker on the phone, which was really fun.
In the picture, Jerry Jeff is outside an old roadhouse on a lonesome highway. Even when he was playing screaming cowboy rock 'n' roll to thousands of people in the 70s and 80s, the solitary troubadour was always on the inside, looking out. He has come full circle, back to his singer-songwriter roots. He came in the studio with us and played guitar and danced around and sang and told us what to do. Since then, he has celebrated the music of peers such as Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt, and served as a fountainhead and inspiration to younger musicians such as Robert Earl Keen, Pat Green, Jack Ingram and a moderately successful country tunesmith named Garth Brooks. And that all happened before he became a star. As all my thoughts of you pass 'fore my face a thousand times, The way they race my heart I cannot say all in lines.
The song was a big hit for him back in the day, and it was a lot of fun for him to play live. The latest, Moon Child, brings Jerry Jeff's album catalog to the grand total to 33. We kissed goodbye so smooth it turned me round Round and round, Hmmmmmm And now sometimes our cool returns to put me on And slightly down, hmmm. But even with all that, Jerry Jeff still sees the world with a troubadour's eyes. You might say he was heading this way all along. His guitar is slung around his back. .
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