The sign of a classic song? You don't just actually listen -- you savor every note, close your eyes and feel every melodic turn, relive those hooks in your head and the memories that come tumbling back. Jimmy Webb knows all about the emotional power of a vintage classic -- he's written some of the best including modern standards like "Galveston", "MacArthur Park", "Wichita Lineman" and "All I Know." We're reminded of his legendary songcraft skills on Just Across the River, the recently released collection of prime Webb compositions masterfully reworked by the singer/songwriter and a stellar duet guest list of contributors -- most notably from fellow writers who obviously know their way around an iconic song or two.
Recorded in Nashville with producer Fred Mollin, a superb band and some inspired arrangements, River allows Webb to share the spotlight with an A-list group of singers and players including Mark Knopfler ("The Highwayman"), Jackson Browne ("P.F. Sloane"), Billy Joel and Jerry Douglas ("Wichita Lineman"), Linda Ronstadt ("All I Know") and Vince Gill ("Oklahoma Nights"). One special highlight is "Galveston" featuring a duet with Lucinda Williams -- listen below. "From the very first song, first take, first note this record seemed blessed," says Webb. "I hope everyone else feels what we did as we listened to the first rough mixes. And then as each piece fell into place, a fully realized, conceptual work of art emerged." Highly recommended. Check out the video EPK after the jump and catch his appearance on Letterman Monday night (July 26),
Jimmy Webb - "Galveston" (with Lucinda Williams) (from the album Just Across the River)
Jimmy Webb - Just Across the River Sampler (with excerpts from "Wichita Lineman", "P.F. Sloane" and "All I Know")