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Where Purchased: Hastings
“Country Music” by Willie Nelson
Always on the lookout for something new and different to play, Willie Nelson teamed up with Oscar-winning music wizard T Bone Burnett for his new bluegrass-flavored collection, “Country Music.” Together, the two tapped the talents of the acoustic super-picking crew that made the Allison Krauss/Robert Plant gem “Raising Sand” the hottest set in recorded music a few years back.
But, even as a Willie fan and an acoustic Americana fan, I can’t say I’m impressed with the results.
Oh, the music is absolutely superb on longtime favorites like “Dark As A Dungeon,” “I Am A Pilgrim,” “Seaman’s Blues” and “Freight Train Boogie,” and Nelson’s aging vocal approach is just getting more and more expressive as time goes by. And Nelson’s new song for the album, “Man With The Blues,” could easily become one of those non-hit classics that everyone knows and likes, even if they don’t know why.
The problem is that, even as good as both are, Willie’s voice just doesn’t fit with the earthy backup music. I don’t know if it’s because we’re just so used to hearing him in his own band setting, or what, but there’s a stylistic clash here that I just can’t get past.
Good songs, good playing, good singing, but “Country Music” just doesn’t quite gel.
Overall Rating: 5
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