Skip to main content

Willie Nelson / Countryman / CD Review

Lost Highway


“Countryman” exists as a marriage of traditional country and reggae. This didn’t strike me as an unusual or unlikely combination, but the laid back soul of Willie definitely made it seamless. I’ve rarely encountered an album that promoted as much relaxation or peacefulness as this. It only took a comfortable chair and an open imagination for the music to place me on a breezy front porch in Jamaica.


The production of the album is very rhythm heavy as far as bass and percussion. This provided the strong presence of reggae on the tracks along with the undeniable tweaky swishing guitar riffs. Willie’s Texas twang, soft refrain and the ever present steel guitar floating atop the melodies in the background made sure that the country elements were not lost.


The tracks mainly consist of previous classics from Willie’s past, and the album is further strengthened by some choice covers including Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come,” “Sitting in Limbo,” and “I’m a Worried Man,” which is a duet with Toots Hibbert and written by Johnny and June Carter Cash. “The Harder They Come” is a great song whose sentiment lies in a line that I’m sure appealed to Willie as much as it did Cliff when he wrote it, “I’d rather be a free man in my grave than a puppet or a slave.”


Lines like “Today might be the day that you walk away, but you left a long, long time ago.” (You Left a Long, Long Time Ago”) and “a thousand times I’ve seen you, a thousand times you’ve taken my breath away” (“I Guess I’ve Come to Live Here”) are fine examples of why Willie has truly cemented himself as one of the greatest songwriters in music history, but I can easily maintain that he is a living legend because he’s never been shy about taking the music and the sound to another level. 

This album lives as a perfect example of the power of Willie’s music to embrace diversity and take on a fresh form that redefines it and him.


-Benjamin Sadler

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What is the most ICONIC Godzilla To YOU?

I need the community's help on this one.  I'm trying to figure out which version of Godzilla is the definitive version.  As fans, we've all jumped on board during different eras.  To some, the '54 version may be the iconic image that immediately springs to mind when you hear the name Godzilla.  To others, it could be one from the 80's or 90's.  It could also be one of the American versions.  I'm trying to find out which variation is the definitive version that fans think of when thinking of Godzilla.  I hope this makes sense!  
To answer this question, I've created a poll featuring every Godzilla movie (as well as an add your own spot).  Simply pick the movie that contains your ideal mental image of Godzilla.  Don't just pick your favorite movie.  Pick which movie contains that version of Godzilla that's ideal to YOU!  I'll leave the poll up for a week and when all results are tallied, we'll hopefully have an idea of what pops into people…

Alice Cooper / Columbia, SC / 5-13-17

The last time Alice Cooper made a tour stop in Columbia, SC, Jimmy Carter was president, gas was .65 a gallon and Alice was a drunken mess.  Cooper's stop at the Carolina Coliseum on June 29, 1978 was part of his King of the Silver Screen tour promoting his then current album Lace and Whiskey.  Judging by the reaction of the packed crowd that assembled to see him Saturday night, it won't take 39 years to bring his show back to town.

King Kong (1933) Movie Review

With Kong: Skull Island's release this week, it's time to take a look back at the original film that started the long tradition of giant monsters.  1933's King Kong revolutionized the way that special effects were used in film.  Never before had the world seen a movie of this scale and magnitude.  Directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack with special effects by Willis O'Brian, King Kong is simply one of the most important films of all time.