Recorded live on September 15, 1981, Live At Gilley’s captures Kris Kristofferson at a time in his career where he and his band were firing on all cylinders.
This previously unreleased and unheard fifteen song set was the final date of Kristofferson’s 1981 tour and was recorded at the legendary honky tonk most well-known for its use in the 1980 film, Urban Cowboy. On this night, the band stopped by Gilley’s in Pasadena, Texas to deliver a once in a lifetime performance featuring the hits “Me And Bobby McGee,” “The Pilgrim,” and “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down.”
Kristofferson is backed by an incredible live band including Stephen Bruton, Billy Swan, Donnie Fritts, Tommy McClure, Glen Clark, and Sammy Creason. The album also features exclusive liner notes written by country music legend and Gilley’s co-owner Mickey Gilley, as well as additional pieces written by George Strait and Billy Swan.
From his liner notes written three months before his passing in May 2022, Gilley offered, “Gilley’s could hold several thousand people, but the club was very intimate. You were right there on the stage with people all around you. You could bend down and shake hands with people.” He continued, “Right next to the club was the recording studio, and we recorded everything that was done onstage. We could record onto the 24-track machine that we had in the studio, then we would do the mixing…We booked a lot of shows around that time, including some people I didn’t think would want to play the club. We got some acts that made me think, ‘Are you kidding me?’...Kris Kristofferson was one of those artists that I didn’t think would want to play Gilley’s, because he was such a big name and a tremendous talent.”
George Strait exclaimed, “What a great album this is! Classic Kristofferson songs throughout, and live!! Kris was in his prime and his vocals were outstanding and very soulful as always. I got to play Gilley's a few times back in those days and this record takes me right back there. You can tell the crowd is loving him and he’s loving them right back. That’s what it’s all about. It was an exciting time to say the least. So close your eyes and listen to this record. Imagine you’re right there standing in front of the stage with the man himself looking right at you. I think you’ll get a really good idea of what Gilley's was like back then when Kris played there. What a treat that must’ve been.”