Album Reviews

Jimmy Webb & The Webb Brothers – Cottonwood Farm (Proper American)

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Jimmy Webb wrote some of the most popular songs of the past several decades: “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Up, Up and Away,” ”Didn’t We,” ”Wichita Lineman,” “Highwayman” and “MacArthur Park,” to name a few. Performers who had hits with his songs include Glen Campbell, Donna Summer, the 5th Dimension, and the superstar quartet who recorded “Highwayman” and adopted it as their name, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.

Cottonwood Farm was very much a family affair involving his four musician sons, known professionally as the Webb Brothers, as well as his 86-year-old father. The 12-minute title track was written by Jimmy almost 40 years ago for his grandfather and was the catalyst for the new album. My favorites include “Old Tin Can” written by the brothers and performed by Christiaan, “Hollow Victory,” an anti-war song composed by James and Christiaan, and “Bad Things Happen To Good People” written and performed by Justin. Most of all, Jimmy and his sons’ version of “Highwayman” provided a special resonance for me.

– Scott Peavler

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