Thursday, August 27, 2009


Willie Nelson is one of the most
prolific artists around - and he's over 70 years old. That's pretty inspiring.

But his incredible rate of output can get confusing, so let me help you out. This week, he released American Classic. It's an album of standards in the tradition of his classic Stardust from 1978. It is on a new (for him) label, Blue Note, and features duets with Norah Jones and Diana Krall. "Grammy" written all over it - I hope it works out that way.

Lost Highway is a new compilation of his material from the past decade or so, of material he recorded for the Lost Highway label. This time period includes at least one of my favorite Willie albums - if not my #1 - 2004's It Will Always Be. But there's lots of gems on this album, and while I may have chosen different songs, it is a great place to check out some of Willie's more recent work. There are some rare songs, like "Superman," "Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond Of Each Other" and "Ain't Goin' Down On Brokeback Mountain."

The Willie Nelson Special is a DVD of a concert from 1985 where Willie was joined on stage by Ray Charles for a bunch of songs, including their classic duet "Seven Spanish Angels," and a song that they both had a hit with, "Georgia On My Mind." This looks like it is one worth getting - I wish they were putting out a CD as well.

Finally, my favorite Willie album of the year is his collaboration with Asleep At The Wheel, Willie & The Wheel. I wish that got the attention that American Standard will get. Actually, they can both be nominated for Grammys in separate categories: standards and country. It would be cool if Willie nabbed a bunch of awards next year.

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