Thursday, October 15, 2009


A couple of months ago, I posted about all of the new Willie Nelson releases that came out this year. I actually missed one: Naked Willie, which is some of his older, heavily orchestrated records that were kind of "unmixed" - in other words, stripped down to bare essentials - by Willie's long time harmonica player Mickey Raphael.

And now there's another new release that I didn't know about: a DVD of a concert by Willie with Wynton Marsalis, Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis Play The Music Of Ray Charles. It's Willie and Wynton's second DVD in as many years: last year's Live From Jazz At Lincoln Center In New York City also yielded an album Two Men With The Blues. Norah Jones guests on the new DVD.

But my favorite Willie project of the year, and one of my favorite albums of 2009 overall is Willie's collaboration with Asleep At The Wheel, Willie and The Wheel. It is an old-school Texas swing album filled with traditional country tunes, and it is a lot of fun. But the fact that he is 70, has been involved with so many different musical projects, and still runs his businesses, including Carl's Corner truck stop and his great SIRIUS XM channel, Willie's Place.

Other Best of '09 albums: Bob Dylan's Together Through Life , The Cocktail Slippers' Saint Valentine's Day Massacre , Rancid's Let The Dominoes Fall

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