Willie Nelson Review

Willie Nelson is an American icon. Not only has Willie Nelson recorded CDs from virtually every different country music style, ranging from bluegrass to pop country, Willie Nelson has remained relevant throughout country music’s development. During country music’s golden age, Willie wrote tremendously popular songs, such as “Crazy,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” and “Hello Walls.” When the golden age dwindled, Willie, along with Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson, pioneered the Outlaw Movement. Unlike most artists, immediately take the charts by storm and fizzle-out, Willie maintained moderate chart success throughout the 60s and 70s and became wildly successful in the 80s. Heck, Willie even managed to chart twice during the previous decade (#22 with “Mendocino County Line” and #41 with “Maria, Shut Up and Kiss Me). The Essential Willie Nelson album adequately summarizes Willie’s monumental career.

“Crazy”- “I’m crazy for trying and I’m crazy for crying and I’m crazy for loving you…” easily stand as some of the most definitive lyrics in the country music genre. After all, when one thinks of the legendary Patsy Cline and her rendition of “Crazy,” one is paying homage to the pen of Willie Nelson. Not only is “Crazy” a well-written, iconic song, Willie’s rendition delivers so much emotion. Anyone who’s familiar with Willie’s music understands that Willie’s unorthodox voice can’t help but seem to make every song Willie sings distinctly his own.


“Night Life”- Willie Nelson’s “Night Life” is one of the most widely covered songs in all of music. One listen to this bluesy hit will quickly help the listener understand why. Though Willie’s down-home voice and the pedal steel guitar adorn this recording, this song is tremendously versatile. After all, though a country song, the blues genre is right in this song’s lyrics, “listen to the blues they’re playin’, listen to what the blues are sayin’.”


“Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys”- Another wildly popular country song, this album’s version features Willie Nelson being backed by the legendary Waylon Jennings. Waylon’s deep voice balances the high, more nasally delivery of Willie Nelson. Any cowboy should easily relate to this song’s lyrics, which read “cowboys like smoky old pool rooms and clear mountain mornings, little warm puppies, children, and girls of the night. Men that don’t know him won’t like him and men that do sometimes won’t know how to take him. He ain’t wrong he’s just different, but his pride won’t make him do things to make you think he’s right.”


This two disc set will surely make a meaningful addition to the library of a Willie Nelson fan. Additionally, this CD, which covers the many sounds of Willie Nelson, will serve as a comprehensive introduction for those interested in becoming more acquainted with Willie’s large catalogue of music.


The Gatz Nieblas Show is on Wednesday from 11pm to 1am PST at kssu.com


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