Personnel: Tom Petty (vocals, guitar, harmonica, electric piano, keyboards, drums, background vocals); Tom Petty (bass guitar); Jeff Lynne (guitar, autoharp, keyboards, bass guitar, background vocals); Mike Campbell (guitar, vibraphone).
Audio Mixer: Ryan Ulyate.
Recording information: Bungalow Palace; Shoreline Recorders, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Danny Clinch.
Tom Petty's third album without the Heartbreakers, 2006's HIGHWAY COMPANION, finds the revered singer-songwriter reuniting with fellow Traveling Wilbury Jeff Lynne (formerly of Electric Light Orchestra) for the first time since their fruitful late-1980s/early-'90s collaborations, which yielded FULL MOON FEVER (Petty's initial solo outing) and INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN. The resulting record recalls the former disc in particular, albeit with a shimmering 21st-century sound, helping Petty's ever-charming, traditionally minded aesthetic to sound fresh three decades into his career. Highlights of COMPANION include the hard-edged "Saving Grace," the gentle "Square One," and the twangy "Big Weekend," which wonderfully showcase the rock, folk, and alt-country sides of this dynamic artist, respectively. As on past joint projects, Lynne's more ornate inclinations are perfectly tempered by Petty's no-frills approach, allowing the latter's distinctively plaintive vocals to rise over the surprisingly straightforward arrangements. Arguably Petty's best album since '94's revered WILDFLOWERS, HIGHWAY COMPANION is an assured set of songs by one of America's finest rock artists.