We gave it a C-
Self-styled Texas smart-ass Jerry Jeff Walker turned 50 earlier this year, but by the sound of Hill Country Rain you’d think he was 90. Walker, best known for writing ”Mr. Bojangles,” has been getting soft in the center and squishy around the edges for years now, and on his last couple of albums he has been doing a little too much ruminating for his own good, and ours. Such songs as ”Singin’ the Dinosaur Blues” and ”The Man He Used to Be” alternate between trying to stave off the Grim Reaper and accepting the aging process. But only the occasional line, like ”Life is mostly attitude and timing” or ”There’s no man stranger to himself/Than the man he used to be,” elevates these tunes from mediocrity. Walker appears to be a gonzo who has lost his guts, an observer who has misplaced his insight, and a writer who has run out of things to say.