Tillis Makes Rosy Comeback

Thunder And Roses –
Pam Tillis

Mel’s little girl recently said it best, “In order to make a comeback, you gotta be away for awhile.” Indeed she has! This is her first release since her 1998 flop, “Every Time.” The 43-year-old hitmaker recruited four producers into the studio to make this baby happen, and the hard work paid off. In her own words, she says, “I’ve gotten to do it on my own terms. I’ve done each album a little differently, not wanting to become my own cliché.”

Pam’s only writing credit on Thunder and Roses is “Off White,” the tale of a second marriage. The newly inducted member of the Grand Ole Opry shines with the leadoff single, “Please.” This ditty circles around the dating habits of a single mom. For the first time, Pam also sings a duet with her father, Mel Tillis, on a bonus track, “Waiting On The Wind.” A more traditional country song and less production would have helped the collaborators to sound more at ease. Despite all this, it’s a good one for the rig!
Grade: A-

Kristofferson –
Kris Kristofferson

When this record was originally released in 1970, it sold a mere 32,000 copies. But the fortunes of this talented singer/songwriter/ actor multiplied the following year when Monument Records reworked a deal and retitled the effort “Me And Bobby McGee,” going Gold in less than a month. From literally sweeping floors in recording studios to sweeping the top of stardom, this unusual act has always done it his way recording such songs as the hippie anthem “Blame It On The Stones” and the sarcastic “The Law Is For Protection Of The People.” Both are included in this set.

This debut album for Kristofferson is filled with self-penned laments, although none of the songs ever hit the charts. Classic Kris creations “Help Me Make It Through The Night,” “For The Good Times,” “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” and “Me And Bobby McGee” are also included.
Columbia/Legacy’s newly remastered reissue restores the original title and packaging, for both the “Kristofferson” album and the “Me And Bobby McGee” album, in addition to four bonus tracks, including the rambling autobiographical tune “The Junkie And The Juicehead, Minus Me.”
Grade: C+

Say No More –
Clay Walker

Eight years and seven albums and this Beaumont, Texas, boy is still flowing like an East Texas derrick. Through the ’90s, Walker scored 11 No. 1 singles and sold four platinum albums. Clay’s been a little low key during recent years, raising two daughters and dealing with multiple sclerosis, which he was diagnosed with in 1996. Five years later he says he looks on it as more of a blessing. “It was scary at first because it was the first time in my life I felt out of control. But at this point, the MS doesn’t dictate my life. It sounds strange, but I think it has actually enhanced my life. It has put a new meaning on the word ‘living’ for me.”

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Walker lives it up on “Say No More.” Among the 11 songs is a remake of Richie Valens’ 1959 hit “La Bamba,” which showcases Clay speaking a little Espa