Album review

Willie Nelson

To Lefty From Willie (1977) is Nelson's heartfelt hat-tip to primary influence Lefty Frizzell, one of the first to incorporate jazzy phrasing into country music. Willie & Family Live captures a full 1978 Lake Tahoe concert with Willie tackling gospel, standards, and a decade-spanning batch of his own songs, demonstrating his masterful technique for shaping a song to his own unique ends. San Antonio Rose (1980) is a duet album with '60s country star Ray Price and delivers period-perfect versions of '60s country classics, a few of which were penned by Willie himself. Released that same year, Honeysuckle Rose (1980) is the soundtrack to a film in which Willie starred, and is essentially a live album as raw and satisfying as Willie & Family Live.

Rating: 4 / 10


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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...