Pick of the Political Pops: Willie Nelson “On The Road Again”

We were momentarily distracted (we couldn’t work out whether the landfill bin collector and her adopted transgendered cat could be classed as being within our bubble for lockdown purposes since the advice was somewhat lacking) so missed much of the coverage of some brouhaha happening over the water in the new world. We are entirely uncertain as to events but have had some indication that it was a ‘big deal’. We checked out CNN but weren’t entirely convinced that the people hosting were caffeine/amphetamine/match-stick-eyelid free so ignored it until there were no signs of a zombie apocalypse banging at our door. That being the case we went back to CNN after a suitable period of isolation and those people were doing the exact same thing. They had the same clothes on. One has to wonder whether personal hygiene matters in a future dystopian world where the “Magic Wall” seems to be a sort of oracle for future events. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Willie Nelson “On The Road Again””

What should I do, Americana UK?

It was hardly a normal start to a musical enquiry such as we are accustomed (now) to address in this feature.  It was a very worried looking Willie Nelson who burst through the door to the consultation room and – not bothering to take a seat – spilled out his concern.  With his hands firmly planted he leaned across the desk and gave us the full life and death – quite literally for once – nature of his problem.  “See,” he drawled, “there’s a pistol packin’ mama hot on my trail.  She could be here any moment.”  He flopped into the chair “all I was doin’ was drinkin’ beer in a cabaret” he confessed.  “Well, maybe I was dancin’ with a blonde as well”.  Now though, it seems that all his appeals to “lay that pistol down” have had no beneficial effect. Continue reading “What should I do, Americana UK?”

Johnny Cash classics get reimagined by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Columbia and Legacy Recordings have announced the release of ‘Johnny Cash and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’ which lands in the UK on November 13th. Produced by Nick Patrick and Don Reedman and recorded at Abbey Road Studio 2, the record is the latest in a series of RPO albums showcasing classic recordings by timeless artists in new musical settings. Continue reading “Johnny Cash classics get reimagined by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra”

VERSIONS – “Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power)”

Here we are again with “VERSIONS” – our look at the songs, the performers and the interpretations by performers of the songs. This time around Martin Johnson casts his eye over over ‘Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)’. Anything that you didn’t know about this tune is cleared up here: Continue reading “VERSIONS – “Senor (Tales Of Yankee Power)””

AUK’s Chain Gang: Willie Nelson “City of New Orleans”

The previous Chain Gang link, The Highwaymen, featured Willie Nelson among their all-star lineup. Their debut album which featured our chosen song ‘Desperados Waiting For A Train’ also carried a Steve Goodman/John Prine song, ‘The Twentieth Century Is Almost Over’. Nelson and Goodman met again on a cover of Goodman’s most famous song ‘City of New Orleans’. Continue reading “AUK’s Chain Gang: Willie Nelson “City of New Orleans””

10 Grateful Dead Songs Covered By Bluegrass, Country and Americana Artists

The Grateful Dead have many claims to fame, from being at the heart of the development of psychedelic rock in San Francisco and paving the way for the Summer Of Love in 1967, to being the giant touring machine of the ‘80s and ‘90s setting attendance records at major stadia across America. They also just happened to have one of the best songwriting partnerships of modern times in guitarist Jerry Garcia and lyricist Robert Hunter. Those who have more than a passing interest also know that with their albums ‘Workingman’s Dead’ and ‘American Beauty’ they contributed to the development of country-rock. Continue reading “10 Grateful Dead Songs Covered By Bluegrass, Country and Americana Artists”

Watch Willie Nelson and sons perform on Colbert

Accompanied by his sons Lukas and Micah, Willie Nelson was the guest on an episode broadcast this week of ‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’, playing ‘Hello Walls’ which Willie wrote for Faron Young’s 1961 album of the same name. You can watch the clip below. Continue reading “Watch Willie Nelson and sons perform on Colbert”

Willie Nelson to release new album “First Rose of Spring”

Willie Nelson has announced the release of his 70th (!) solo studio album (and 14th for the Legacy label)–on Friday, April 24 (right before Willie’s 87th birthday on April 29th). The record is described as “an atmospheric soulful showcase of beautifully-written songs and poignant performances” and is Nelson’s first new release since winning the 2020 Best Country Solo Performance Grammy Award–Willie’s 10th overall, not including his Grammy Legend and Lifetime Achievement Awards–for ‘Ride Me Back Home’ the title track from his 2019 release. Continue reading “Willie Nelson to release new album “First Rose of Spring””

Video: Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson “Pancho and Lefty”

This week’s retro video is a true classic written by the legendary Townes Van Zandt.  If you watch closely, you might spot Van Zandt making an appearance or two in the video!  As you would expect, the characterful vocals from Nelson and Haggard are excellent.  Legend has it that the character of Lefty was based on Daniel Antopolsky, who toured with Van Zandt back in the day…read my interview with him here.

Willie Nelson rides back home with new album – due June

Legacy Recordings has announced the release of ‘Ride Me Back Home’, a new studio album by Willie Nelson due to land on Friday, June 21st. The album rounds out a trilogy about mortality that began in 2017 with ‘God’s Problem Child’ and was followed in 2018 with ‘Last Man Standing’. This is the 13th album that longtime friend/producer Buddy Cannon has produced for Willie in a little over a decade and the album debuts three new songs co-written by the pair: ‘Come On Time, Seven Year Itch’ and ‘One More Song to Write.’ Continue reading “Willie Nelson rides back home with new album – due June”