April 21, 2009 — Kris Kristofferson has worn plenty of hats in his time — actor, singer, political commentator — but the one he wears best is that of a songwriter.
Kris has gone lengthy periods without releasing new material, but he's currently at work on his next album, Starlight And Stone, with producer Don Was, who's worked with everyone from Bonnie Raitt to Willie Nelson to the Rolling Stones.
"I've never been a disciplined writer," Kris told The Los Angeles Times. "I just wait till something hits me, and as I get older, it doesn't hit as often. But I'll keep writing until they throw dirt on me."
Kris' place as a songwriter is secure, thanks to composing the Sammi Smith hit "Help Me Make It Through The Night," Ray Price's "For The Good Times," Johnny Cash's "Sunday Morning Coming Down" and Janis Jop lin's "Me And Bobby McGee," among others. He's enshrined in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, though his commercial successes seemed to drop off once Hollywood discovered him and began casting him in films.
"Some people have suggested that the acting negatively influenced my songwriting," he said. "I think that was probably more a case that the acting drew the attention of the spotlight. Hell, I was up there on the screen in a bathtub with Barbra Streisand. But I always felt like I was writing to the best of my ability, writing about what I was going through at the time. I never felt acting took away from my creative talent."
Starlight And Stone is likely out late this summer. In the meantime, Kris plans to appear at New York's Madison Square Garden May 3 in a major event celebrating Pete Seeger's 90th birthday, the Clearwater Concert: Creating The Next Generation Of Environmental Leaders. Others on the bill include Steve Earle, Dave Matthews, Eddie Vedder, Bela Fleck, Bruce Springsteen and Emmylou Harris.