The term “storyteller” fits Kris Kristofferson like a perfectly worn leather jacket, and nowhere is this more evident than The Austin Sessions. In fact, Kristofferson’s sparse and descriptive writing is the star of the 14 classic songs on the newly-reissued album. Recorded live in the studio in 1997 with producer Fred Mollin and a crack team of session musicians, Austin Sessions captures a rootsy, honest vibe from sessions obviously packed with camaraderie. The newly remastered version adds a refined clarity along with the two additional tunes. Many of Kristofferson’s songs were best known for versions recorded by other artists—Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee,” Johnny Cash’s “Sunday Morning Coming Down.” But Austin Sessions captured Kristofferson in a stripped-down way and showed that nobody did these songs better than the storyteller himself. A handful of guest harmonies elevate the album, including Alison Krauss on “Why Me?,” Jackson Browne on “Bobby McGee,” and Steve Earle on “Sunday Morning.” But nothing tops the plaintive “Help Me Make it Through the Night,” with Vince Gill’s voice adding a perfect, twangy earnestness to Kristofferson’s raspy cool. You won’t be able to get it out of your head.