Saturday, April 24, 2010

Country Music -- Willie Nelson

Seems like T-Bone Burnett's working with everybody these days. I just reviewed the Jakob Dylan CD, and now I've been listening a lot to Willie Nelson's new one, with Burnett as the producer. Same spare arrangements, lots of the same musicians. And some great songs, most of which are familiar to country music fans.

My absolute favorite on the CD is "Dark as a Dungeon," a coal-mining song by Merle Travis that I first heard on an album by Tennessee Ernie Ford well over 50 years ago. I thought at the time it was one of the most powerful things I'd ever heard, and I still do. Willie's version is especially poignant in light of the recent mining disaster in West Virginia. My father used to like "Pistol Packin' Mama" a lot, and of course that made me like it, too. Willie does a great version. "Satisfied Mind" is a classic, recorded many times by others, but Willie makes it his own. If you like an even more spiritually tinged song, there's "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down." There's not a new song on the CD, but Willie can make the old things new. Give it a listen.


Anonymous said...

You can't go far wrong with Willie. And if there's a song you don't like, there will be 50 more coming right behind it that you do like.

We're seeing Willie in concert with Levon Helm in July. Can't wait.


George said...

Willie Nelson is performing at one of our local casinos next month. He sure gets around!