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iTunes Review

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

A new hybrid music style

Willie has brought together two forms of music; country and reggae and the result is as natural and easy going as can be. Themes of loss, love, trials, and poverty are at the core of country and reggae music so the blend is not as difficult as many people are making it to be. Willie seems to have found a new groove and it suits him well. I have been listening to the album for months now and not tiring of this new sound at all.

Hmm...that's interesting

Wow, man, this is an amazing album. Willie Nelson proves that he can meld reggae and country into a seemless tapestry. In a time when the majority of records seem to be sub-par, it's good to see an artist remain true to his roots while reaching into new realms and still sound good. Plus, you know Willie rocked the ganj, so it's all wicked.

An American Icon "in the Carribbean"

Willie sings Reggae? Absolutely - his easily recognizable voice and unmistakable guitar are not a mismatch; they work together, beautifully, with the warm island sounds. While there is nothing break-though here, so many of these cuts create a relaxing, well-mixed blend. If there's one draw-back, it's a short collection. Unlike many recordings in the genre, it's a shame they didn't let Willie play and the band jam for a few more minutes on certain songs. If you enjoy reggae, this is worth a listen. Consider adding (my favorites) Do You Mind Too Much, Something to Think About, Darkness on the Face of the Earth to your collection. To the deep country Willie Nelson fan, try this with the sun on your face and a rum drink in your hand, and you'll be feeling "Irie, Mon."


Born: April 29, 1933 in Abbott, 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 himself...
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