The Country Western genre is slowly becoming extinct. What once was a vibrant honky tonk of highway men slinging road-worn stories of love and life is now as faded and dusty as the jeans they wore. Heroes like Cash, Waylon, Merle, Williams and Jones have all galloped into the sunset, leaving behind a handful of cowboys to stoke the fire. One of those is the original Rhinestone Cowboy, Glen Campbell.
Five years ago, Campbell announced he was suffering from early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and in the years since, has made the most of his time recording and capping off quite a legacy of music. His 2013 release, See You There, was a raw reminder of just how powerful and ingrained Campbell’s music and influence is through pop culture and the country music scene, and his latest and last recording, appropriately titled Adiós, is the perfect lasso around the herd that will take him home.
Twelve cover songs that were close to Campbell’s heart but never recorded finally shine a love light on a career well crafted, and he called up some old friends for the rodeo. Willie Nelson’s signature roll on his classic “Funny How Time Slips Away” could not be more appropriate, and Vince Gill’s chime on “Am I All Alone (Or Is It Just Me)” is just what the doctor ordered. But the most prophetic and nostalgic track “Arkansas Farmboy” is the crux of Campbell’s life and career and a forever reminder of how much we will miss him. Thank you Glen for giving us the perfect Adiós.
- Chris Rucker