Two Bit Lawyer, If You Can Be An Elevator, Key to the Highway, O Catrina, The Cross By The Road, Plans For The Future (50th Birthday), Pat Garrett's Lament, King Of The Road, Someone Else's Hunger, It Ought To Be Enough
It Ought To Be Enough was recorded over three nights at The Chapel at Casa de Maria in Santa Barbara, California. A single microphone was placed in the aisle in front of the pews, which meant that an oversize Christ on the cross was always in front of the singer. Perhaps this explains the special atmosphere of the sessions. It feels more like a reckoning than anything. IOTBE focuses on the enormous verities - of love and death, good and evil - without flinching from uncomfortable facts. The Cross By The Road is a story-song in the Texas tradition, and deals with bereavement and filial feelings in a totally unsentimental manner. Two-Bit Lawyer does for law professionals what Death of a Salesman did for travelling salesmen. The bittersweet Plans For The Future confronts the mystery and mystification of middle age, and the loneliness of the hour is only softened by Heidi Jacobs' sweet and sensual harmony vocals. Then there is the niche that Abner has made his own - the post-mortem song. The major/minor phrasing of the brooding O Catrina suggests the ebb and flow of the life force itself. The narrative voice in Pat Garrett’s Lament shifts, but it finally settles on the eponymous bounty-hunter (deceased). Guilt, it seems, has survived death: "Now I’m walking that forgotten road, looking for you where the wind won’t blow." This is better than Leonard Cohen, and as good as Townes Van Zandt.