Jimmy Webb seems to me a songwriting genius. He has certainly made some permanent contributions to the Cosmic American Music. In 2010 Webb called on several of his friends and admirers to revisit a few of those contributions with him on the disc Just Across the River, recorded in Nashville. (He did it again, incidentally, for the 2013 disc Still Within the Sound of My Voice.) The friends who turned up to lend Webb a hand on the 2010 disc are just about as impressive as Webb’s contributions to the Cosmic American Music. It’s a roster that includes Vince Gill, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, and Glen Campbell.
Webb closes the disc with his song “All I Know,” a 1973 hit for Art Garfunkel. For this song he calls on his old friend Linda Ronstadt to help him out. Ronstadt retired from performing in 2009 and announced that she had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2013. The Parkinson’s has disabled her singing. I believe this is her last recording. With Ronstadt’s assistance, and with the backing by Bryan Sutton on guitar, this poignant song becomes more poignant than ever. I thought some readers might enjoy hearing the song in this unfamiliar version even though, in the singing department, Webb is the guy who wrote the song.