Time hasn't been gentle on the mind of Glen Campbell, the 75-year-old country-pop stalwart who last year was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. With consummate dignity, he completed an elegantly crafted album, Ghost on the Canvas, played joyfully at the Grammys, and is now on tour, which, like the album, is said to be his last. Ghost is unavoidably bittersweet and could easily have been a maudlin mess. But the songs — by Paul Westerberg, Jakob Dylan, and Teddy Thompson, as well as originals written with producer Julian Raymond — frankly address Campbell's situation without wallowing in pity, instead reflecting a reservoir of emotional strength derived in large part from Campbell's resilient high tenor voice. One particularly nice touch is that Raymond's arrangements include subtle references to such Campbell hits as "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," "Rhinestone Cowboy," and "Gentle on My Mind," all of which also are likely to crop up in concert. Three of Campbell's children are in his touring band, one of many deftly handled details allowing an artist to say goodbye on his own terms and with abundant class.
Fri., April 13, 8 p.m., 2012