By Chris Willman
Updated August 06, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

Rodney Crowell indulged in high-minded middle-aged introspection on his last two CDs, and Vince Gill has been known to solemnize a little himself. So it’s a surprise to find them imploring an over-stuffed pal to ”loosen up before you’re too damn old” in the opening chorus of their Wilburyesque supergroup’s debut The Notorious Cherry Bombs. The cobweb-clearing’s a blast, whether they’re gently detonating jam-night pop-R&B, straight-up Johnny Cash homages, or the old-school ”It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long.”