Willie Nelson – Bluegrass (2023) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Willie Nelson - Bluegrass (2023) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz] Download

Willie Nelson – Bluegrass (2023)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 43:34 minutes | 883 MB | Genre: Country
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Legacy Recordings

‘Bluegrass’ captures a dozen classic Willie Nelson compositions, including ‘On the Road Again’, ‘Yesterday’s Wine’, ‘Still is Still Moving to Me’, ‘Good Hearted Woman’ and more, freshly interpreted by Willie and an ensemble of crack players. In a seven decade career that has seen him explore genres from one end of the musical spectrum to the other, this is his first full album dedicated to genre. Willie and longtime producer Buddy Cannon, picked personal and fan favourite compositions from across his career to perform anew for this salute to the Appalachian old-time string band music which profoundly influenced Willie’s songwriting sensibilities and the direction of American country music in general. Using his own catalogue as source material, Willie chose songs combining the kind of strong melodies, memorable storylines and tight ensemble-interplay found in traditional bluegrass interpretations of the roots of American folk songs. With ‘Bluegrass’, Willie uncovers new truths in his own songs.For what we are told is his 74th solo studio longplayer (well, who’s counting?), the absolute force of nature that is Willie Nelson has chosen to revisit some of the best songs from his own catalog—including “On the Road Again,” “Yesterday’s Wine,” “A Good Hearted Woman,” and “Bloody Mary Morning”—and record them in a bluegrass vein. This infectious, high keening sound, bluegrass, coined and minted in the 1950s by Bill Monroe and friends in the hills of Kentucky, has always been more of a subtle influence on Nelson’s own sound; his obvious earliest influence was the Western swing perfected by Bob Willis and his Texas Playboys. Monroe did perform at Live Aid in 1990 and once recorded a duet with Nelson, but this entire project seemed a bit out of left field upon its announcement. Thankfully, Bluegrass is nothing aside from a delightful surprise.

With crisp production duties overseen by longtime producer Buddy Cannon, the band assembled here is a who’s who of modern bluegrass: Ron Block (banjo), Josh Martin (acoustic guitar), Rob Ickes (dobro), Barry Bales (upright bass), Aubrey Haynie (fiddle), Dan Tyminski (mandolin), Seth Taylor (mandolin) and Bobby Terry (acoustic guitar, gut string guitar). Curiously, Nelson made the album without one of his nearest and dearest companions. The record could be seen in part as a tribute to Nelson’s longtime sideman, guitarist Jody Payne, who played with Nelson from 1973 until his death in 2013.

He told AARP that it’s the first album where he “didn’t play ‘Trigger’ since I’ve had him,” referring to the busted-up Martin N-20 acoustic guitar Nelson first got in 1969—as much a part of Willie Nelson’s entire vibe as his long hair and wide smile. Because Nelson was reared on Western swing, one assumes that it would take more practice to shoehorn his jazzy, laconic style into these reworkings.

What might be the sappy equivalent of those truckstop knockoff bluegrass tributes to individual artist records turns out to be a wonderful addition to Nelson’s catalog. Bluegrass interpretations by well-known country stars continue to be successful, for as diverse an array as Dwight Yoakam, Dolly Parton, and Sturgill Simpson. And the music’s resurgence sees no signs of slowing, thanks to such stalwarts as Molly Tuttle, Billy Strings, and Railroad Earth. Nelson’s entry, recorded just before his 90th birthday, will age well. As with Tony Bennett or Miles Davis at the end of their own careers, Nelson is clearly kept alive, and buoyantly so, by the power of his music, and his fans’ devotion for it. – Mike McGonigal


1-1. Willie Nelson – No Love Around (03:13)
1-2. Willie Nelson – Somebody Pick Up My Pieces (05:12)
1-3. Willie Nelson – A Good Hearted Woman (04:58)
1-4. Willie Nelson – Sad Songs and Waltzes (03:38)
1-5. Willie Nelson – Home Motel (04:24)
1-6. Willie Nelson – You Left Me A Long, Long Time Ago (04:18)
1-7. Willie Nelson – Yesterday’s Wine (03:27)
1-8. Willie Nelson – Bloody Mary Morning (03:04)
1-9. Willie Nelson – Slow Down Old World (02:14)
1-10. Willie Nelson – Still Is Still Moving To Me (04:00)
1-11. Willie Nelson – On the Road Again (02:40)
1-12. Willie Nelson – Man With the Blues (02:20)

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