Jessi Colter Edge of Forever

By Brian Rock

Grammy Hall of Famer and original country outlaw, Jessi Colter makes her triumphant return to her honky-tonk roots on her 13th album, Edge of Forever. Forever associated with her late husband, Waylon Jennings, Colter often softened his rough edges. She was the musical yin to his yang. Twenty years after his passing, she has processed her grief (with the cathartic help of her 2017 collection of hymns, “The Psalms,”) and has allowed herself to reveal another side of her persona, including her own rough edges. Produced by Margo Price and mixed by her son, Shooter Jennings, Edge of Forever is Colter at her most confident and assertive yet.

“Standing On The Edge Of Forever,” starts the album with a funky bass line and staccato drum clicks. Colter enters with her honky-tonk piano and sings, “When I was loving you, I gave all I had to give. You took the love I gave. You took my will to live.” Recalling the degradations of a prior relationship, Colter tears into her ex-lover with vigor and venom. Now that he returns asking for a second chance, she scowls, “I hear you talking, but just keep walking. It’s all over now.” Colter’s driving piano and Funk flavored guitar licks create an atmosphere of freedom and celebration to match the mood.

“Lost Love Song,” is classic outlaw country, complete with a healthy dose of pedal steel. Colter adds a splash of 70’s Abba-esque vocal harmony to the spritely, “I Wanna Be With You.” Asserting her faith, she combines 60’s soul and 70’s funk to proclaim, “Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus.” The soul influence carries over in, “With Or Without You.” Her re-energized version of “Maybe You Should,” captures the feel of the original outlaw country scene that she helped create in the mid 70’s with a hint of “Good Hearted Woman” rhythms flowing throughout. 

Colter reveals her sensitive side on the ballad, “Hard On Easy Street.” Describing a faltering relationship between a couple who seemingly have everything, she sings, “Don’t worry about your gold. My heart’s not that cold. I’m only taking two things when I leave: One life so I can live it. One love so I can give it where I please.” “Angel In The Fire,” and “Secret Place” offer country gospel tinged hope through faith. “Fine Wine,” is a tender, bittersweet tribute to Waylon Jennings. Remembering her husband, Colter sings, “Never thought I’d be here without you. Big shoes to fill, you hung the moon. Your clothes are in the closet. I keep them there for you.” The song is so intimate, you feel like you’re eavesdropping on a personal confession. She goes on to reveal lonely nights and old love songs, and eventually a yearning to move on with her life. Almost apologetic, Colter realizes she has more to share with the world than just being a mournful widow. Singing, “like a fine wine I’m getting better with time,” she allows herself to move forward and share her musical talents with the world. And the world is richer for it.   |  fb  |   buy

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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