Willie Nelson's "Me and the Boys," an album of classic country (seven of the 12 songs by Hank Williams) recorded with his sons, singers Lukas and Micah Nelson. The originalmaterial were recorded at Willie's Austin studio in 2011 by Willie and Lukas, with added vocals added by Lukas and Micah.
Today, June 15, Waylon Jennings (1937-2002) would have turned 80. I review a CD/DVD release of an all-star 2015 Tribute Show: Outlaw: Celebrating The Music of Waylon Jennings. Participating: Jessi Colter, Shooter Jennings, Willie Nelson, Robert Earl Keen, Lee Ann Womack, Kacey Musgraves, Kris Kristofferson, Sturgill Simpson, Bobby Bare, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Toby Keith, Allison Krauss and Buddy Miller.
After Glen Campbell's 2011 Alzheimer's diagnosis, his gifts as as a singer and guitarist remained sufficiently intact for a farewell tour and a final studio album. Around the time he was diagnosed, wife Kim Campbell and Carl Jackson, banjoist in Campbell's earlier touring band, brought him into a Nashville studio to record what everyone know would be his final album. It wasn't always easy. Jackson had to have song lyrics written in large print so Campbell could sing them, portending the aids (teleprompters, etc.) he'd need to get through that final tour.
My review of Chris Stapleton's From A Room, Volume 1, the first part of his two-part followup to his acclaimed 2015 debut Traveler. From A Room is # 1 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart this week. Volume 2 will appear later this year.
Since his 2011 Alzheimer's diagnosis, the world has followed Glen Campbell's final moments as a professional musician on his Farewell Tours, a well-received documentary and a constant stream of media stories of his continuing decline. Out of the public eye now, in a Nashville facility for Alzheimer's patients but near family, work has continued on what will be his final album: Adios, to be released by Universal Music on June 9.
My review of Willie Nelson's latest album, an eloquent, humorous survey of the vicissitudes of aging. He turns 84 tomorrow.
Despite health rumors, age and the loss of some of his closest musical compatriots, Willie Nelson turns 84 next Saturday (April 29), a day after Legacy Recordings releases God's Problem Child, the ninth studio album he's recorded for the label since joining them in 2012.
My review of Alison Krauss's "Windy City," a collection of classic Nashville country (and pop-country) covers.
Joan Baez's just-announced induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will likely raise both debate and questions. She was, after all, a product of the folk revival who unlike onetime paramour Bob Dylan and others, did not make any overt attempts to move into the rock field. In an interview with Scott Mervis, Rock Hall President and Pittsburgh native Joel Peresman's explanation of her induction lacked real clarity.
Yes, she was close to Dylan. It's true she played Woodstock. She introduced the song "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" to the world on her 1962 Joan Baez Live In Concert, Volume 1 album. That was where Led Zeppelin, who made the song immortal, first heard it. Zeppelin, of course later had to settle with the song's composer. Anne Bredon. Since 1990, composer credits are shared by the band and Bredon. Those would qualify Baez under the RRHOF's Influence category.
In a devastating year for music deaths, it's painful to add Leon Russell's name to the growing list. Russell, who died in his sleep at his Nashville home Saturday at 74, was a singer, pianist, arranger, guitarist, vocalist, studio musician and record company owner, known as the Master of Space And Time. He'd battled health problems over the past several years and suffered a heart attack in July.