Various Timeless

Iconic country master Hank Williams gets a worthy tribute here with Timeless, a collection of his songs sung by musicians who themselves are getting more influential than timely (Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler, Tom Petty, Keith Richards). Amongst the few youngsters stepping up here, Beck does a beautifully understated "Your Cheatin' Heart" that just begs for him to do another acoustic record like his pre-superstardom One Foot In the Grave. But whether from Williams' contemporaries like Johnny Cash or third generation fans like grandson Hank Williams III (who performs "Long Gone Daddy"), the versions here remain faithful not just to spirit but to sound. There's surely a whole different album of radical reinterpretation to be had in Hank's extensive catalogue, but by a careful selection of oldsters and respectful young bucks like Ryan Adams, the result is almost inevitable: some of the greatest songs every written, able and experienced interpreters, press record. Conservative, to be sure, but beautiful and indeed, Timeless. (Lost Highway)