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.
Premiering 11 new Willie Nelson studio performances and featuring original artwork created by Willie’s son Micah, the album finds Willie working again with longtime friend and producer Buddy Cannon and debuts two new songs co-written by the pair: ‘Blue Star’ and ‘Love Just Laughed.’
Alongside his new compositions on the album, Willie pays musical tribute to a variety of pop and country songwriters and performers, interpreting songs penned by, er… Toby Keith (‘Don’t Let The Old Man In’), Billy Joe Shaver (‘We Are The Cowboys’) and Pete Graves (‘Just Bummin’ Around’ – a song recorded by Jimmy Dean, Dean Martin and others).
The album also includes an interpretation of ‘Our Song’, a new composition by Chris Stapleton, and a performance of Charles Aznavour’s ‘Hier Encore’ – a 1964 chanson which became an American country classic (and Roy Clark’s biggest hit) as ‘Yesterday When I Was Young’ (English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer) in 1969 and, over the years, became a standard performed by a multitude of stars including Bing Crosby, Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield, Mel Tormé, Jack Jones, Lena Horne, Andy Williams, Glen Campbell, Julio Iglesias, Johnny Mathis and Elton John among others.
Here’s the tracklisting along with a lyric video for the title track.
Willie Nelson “First Rose Of Spring” Tracklisting
1. First Rose Of Spring (Randy Houser, Allen Shamblin & Mark Beeson)
2. Blue Star (Willie Nelson & Buddy Cannon)
3. I’ll Break Out Again Tonight (Sanger “Whitey” Shafer & Doodle Owens)
4. Don’t Let The Old Man In (Toby Keith)
5. Just Bummin’ Around (Pete Graves)
6. Our Song (Chris Stapleton)
7. We Are The Cowboys (Billy Joe Shaver)
8. Stealing Home (Marla Cannon-Goodman, Casey Beathard & Don Sampson)
9. I’m The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised (Wayne Kemp, Bobby Borchers & Mack Vickery)
10. Love Just Laughed (Willie Nelson & Buddy Cannon)
11. Yesterday When I Was Young (Hier Encore) (Charles Aznavour & Herbert Kretzmer)
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