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Editors’ Notes

Among the most unusual entries in the string of genre experiments Willie Nelson undertook in the 2000s, Countryman contains a juxtaposition of elements that should not cooperate. Dub, reggae and ska versions of country songs, complete with pedal-steel solos and vocals from one of the most wizened voices of the American South? And yet it works. Nelson’s deeply felt but casual singing style is right at home in the world of Jamaican rhythm. There are stellar interpretations of early Nelson songs like “Undo the Right” and “Darkness On the Face of the Earth,” but even better are the songs he wrote specifically for this project, especially the opener, “Do You Mind Too Much If I Don’t Understand.” Johnny Cash’s “I’m a Worried Man” is well suited to the reggae treatment, and the recording makes a partnership out of Nelson’s casual delivery and Toots Hibbert’s impassioned vocalizing. Any remaining walls between country and reggae are completely demolished on the acoustic version of “The Harder They Come,” a sing-along that belongs equally to a campfire in the Old West and the beaches of Montego Bay.

Customer Reviews

Willie Nelson Rocks!

Not much to say other than this is awesome. I had no idea Willie Nelson even fit in with Reggae let alone mastered it. This is an excellent mix of Reggae and Country to bring a completely unique feel. I've found that I usually don't like reggae, but I love this album, definately one of his best in my books. I recently had an opportunity to see Willie live in concert, however he didn't sing any of his new reggae songs.


Born: April 30, 1933 in Fort Worth, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As a songwriter and a performer, Willie Nelson played a vital role in post-rock & roll country music. Although he didn't become a star until the mid-'70s, Nelson spent the '60s writing songs that became hits for stars like Ray Price ("Night Life"), Patsy Cline ("Crazy"), Faron Young ("Hello Walls"), and Billy Walker ("Funny How Time Slips Away") as well as releasing a series of records on Liberty and RCA that earned him a small but devoted cult following. During the early '70s, Willie aligned...
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