American singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson, the man behind Janis Joplin’s famous “Me & Bobby McGee” and a member of the original Highwaymen, visits the Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville Thursday as part of the Coors Light Summer Concert Series. Kristofferson’s 19th album This Old Road, a collaboration with producer Don Was, of Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones, features sparse recordings with highlighted lyrics, harmonica and Kristofferson’s unique voice. The follow-up album Closer to the Bone stays reflective and includes tracks written about Johnny Cash, a huge influence on his career and an interesting tribute to Sinead O’Connor.
Kris Kristofferson grew up in Texas eventually moving to Nashville where he was hired as a floor sweeper at Columbia Studios. While working as a janitor he met and became friends with Johnny Cash but it wasn’t until later when he worked as a helicopter pilot in Louisiana that he began writing his most famous hits. A few years later Ray Stevens recorded Kristofferson’s “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down,” and other artists like Jerry Lee Lewis, Roger Miller, Waylon Jennings and Ray Price eventually followed suite recording his songs, scoring Kris a solid record deal as a writer. Since then Kristofferson has worked with some of the largest names in the Nashville industry from Dolly Parton to Willie Nelson, and Patty Griffin. He has also won numerous awards for his song writing talents, including 48 BMI Country and Pop awards.
Kristofferson’s latest albums This Old Road and Closer to the Bone includes a retrospective theme and look at what Kris writes to be the most important aspects of his life. Kristofferson also released Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends: The Publishing Demos in 2010 which includes demos recorded between 1968 and 1972 while working as a janitor at Columbia Records. Many of those tracks went on to be re-recorded by Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin and Al Green.
The Kris Kristofferson concert will take place Thursday, August 2nd at the Iroquois Amphitheater. Louisville’s own Bonnie Prince Billy will kick off the show. Doors open at 6:30 pm, with the show starting at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $45.00, $35.00, $27.50 in advance and will be $2.00 higher the day of the show. The event is part of the Coors Light Summer Concert Series at the Iroquois Amphitheater.
Photo courtesy of Kris Kristofferson