Thanks so much to Andrew W. Griffin, from Red Dirt Report, for the following review of Willie Nelson’s new CD. Andrew is a regular contributor to Country’s Chatter. I enjoy his reviews, and am sure all of you do, too.
RDR CD REVIEW: Willie Nelson – Country Music(Rounder) 2010
Before I get into my review of Willie’s new disc, Country Music, I have to say that I was a bit shocked to discover that the Abbott, Texas native, known for his iconic, braided locks, had cut them off while spending some time in Hawaii recently.
We can only speculate why 77-year-old Willie did such a thing. What is Willie Nelson without his braided locks, something he has been doing for well over three decades. While I doubt he will lose his strength, like what happened to Samson in the Bible days, it will be different seeing Willie without his braids.
But I digress … back to the review of Willie’s new disc, Country Music, produced by T Bone Burnett, he of O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Crazy Heart soundtrack fame. Burnett is a great producer for Willie Nelson to work with. The traditional American music sound is something Burnett knows well, and, knowing Willie’s lengthy list of music, it was neat that they started things off with a re-recording of Willie’s first single, the 1959 release “Man With the Blues.” Ronnie McCoury plays it down the middle with his amazing mandolin while Mickey Raphael’s harmonica is ever present.
Raphael really shines as he blows the harp on Doc Watson’s rockabilly tune “Freight Train Boogie.” That slapped acoustic bass is also highly appealing, as the song chugs along.
Willie sounds as if he is having a good time singing “Pistol Packin’ Mama”
The eerie banjo plucking of Riley Baugus kicks off the traditional country folk of “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down.” Buddy Miller helps Willie by providing some effective background vocals on this classic.
“My Baby’s Gone” will give you chills, or at least it did for me. “Satisfied Mind” comes pretty close as well. But when we get to Hank Williams’ bittersweet “House of Gold,” you know we’ve hit a musical goldmine.
Meanwhile, the Merle Travis original “Dark As a Dungeon” brings the old mining song straight into your living room. This is mighty fine American folk music and Willie handles it beautifully.
Sure, Willie Nelson releases several albums a year, or at least it seems that way. I enjoyed the swingin’ sounds of Willie and The Wheel and the standards on American Classic but it’s Country Music that really captures what Willie Nelson is all about.
Grade – B+
Thanks Andrew, great review. Thanks so much for sharing it with me and my readers!
Talk to you all real soon. Hope you have a fantastic Thursday!