While Texas music legend Jerry Jeff Walker has written many great songs, generally his bread and butter is recording the works of other great writers and delivering worthy and at times definitive versions of them. He's not a great vocalist in the technical sense by any means, but his voice has a folksy, "everyman" quality that's very charming and difficult to dislike, and he is an extremely able interpreter. While he's never achieved much in the way of commercial success and is virtually unknown in the mainstream, he has a huge cult following among country enthusiasts and remains extremely influential in Texas and alt-country to this day. His 1978 album Contrary to Ordinary came at the end of a long run of classic albums, and while it's hardly the best record in his discography, it's certainly worth checking out.
The opener "Tryin' to Hold the Wind Up With a Sail" is a sweet love song about a couple who rely on each other for emotional support during the hard times. The production is Carribbean-flavored and a huge departure from Walker's normal country-folk sound, but it really works. Of similarly high quality is Lee Clayton's roots rocker "Saturday Night Special" (not to be confused with the Conway Twitty or Lyrnyrd Skyrnrd songs of the same name), which is a rollicking good time with a great chorus.