Kris Kristofferson has led a rich and colorful life. For the uninitiated (or for those who have somehow forgotten), here’s just a taste of the Texas native’s singular resume: he appeared in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” column for his various athletic achievements; he graduated summa cum laude from Ponoma College with a degree in literature before becoming a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University; he was a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army; he was a janitor at the studio where Bob Dylan recorded Blonde on Blonde; he became a notorious hellion/raconteur in Nashville, Tenn., where he wrote hit songs for everyone from Johnny Cash to Janis Joplin, whom he dated; he has acted in more than 100 movies (from A Star Is Born and Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore to Big Top Pee-wee and Blade); and he has recorded more than two dozen solo albums and contributed to dozens more, which led to him being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004.
And, at 76, he’s still going.
Kristofferson’s latest album, Feeling Mortal, is as soul-baring as anything he’s ever recorded, his craggy voice, modest guitar strums and emotionally naked words as penetrating as they’ve ever been. He also seems to be contemplating the end of his long and winding road. From the title track: “God Almighty, here I am/Am I where I ought to be/I’ve begun to soon descend/Like the sun into the sea.”
A world without Kristofferson? Maybe not, as he told Rolling Stone in a recent interview: “I think it’s funny that as human beings we never think about dying. I mean, we don’t preoccupy ourselves with it, because it would be kind of depressing. But the truth is we’re all gonna die. Well, maybe I won’t.”
plays Sunday, Aug. 11 with Kim Taylor at Taft Theatre downtown. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here