11 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Some explanation first: San Antonio Rose was the title of a 1961 Ray Price album celebrating the songs of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. In 1980, Price released another album by the same title, this one in tandem with Willie Nelson, who had appeared as a backup musician on the original LP. The back-story here may be a tad involved, but the music on Willie and Ray’s San Antonio Rose is straight-ahead, uncluttered classic country. The years had been kind to them both — Price’s manly baritone conveys heartache within its stalwart tones, while Nelson’s well-seasoned tenor suggests endless miles of experience. Price renews his status as one of country’s most soulful crooners on Willis’ “Faded Love” and revives his signature hit “Release Me” with effortless authority. Nelson shines on a bluesy version of “Night Life” and a wistful take on “My Life’s Been A Pleasure.” And Ex-Texas Playboy Johnny Gimble invokes Wills’ spirit by adding jazz-tinged fiddle lines. Price and Nelson sound relaxed and fully engaged throughout, making San Antonio Rose a timeless recording of interest to any country fan.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Some explanation first: San Antonio Rose was the title of a 1961 Ray Price album celebrating the songs of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. In 1980, Price released another album by the same title, this one in tandem with Willie Nelson, who had appeared as a backup musician on the original LP. The back-story here may be a tad involved, but the music on Willie and Ray’s San Antonio Rose is straight-ahead, uncluttered classic country. The years had been kind to them both — Price’s manly baritone conveys heartache within its stalwart tones, while Nelson’s well-seasoned tenor suggests endless miles of experience. Price renews his status as one of country’s most soulful crooners on Willis’ “Faded Love” and revives his signature hit “Release Me” with effortless authority. Nelson shines on a bluesy version of “Night Life” and a wistful take on “My Life’s Been A Pleasure.” And Ex-Texas Playboy Johnny Gimble invokes Wills’ spirit by adding jazz-tinged fiddle lines. Price and Nelson sound relaxed and fully engaged throughout, making San Antonio Rose a timeless recording of interest to any country fan.

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About Willie Nelson & Ray Price

Even before he became the Red Headed Stranger, Willie Nelson was already a Nashville songwriting legend, providing Patsy Cline with her 1961 signature tune, “Crazy.” But as a fledgling performer in his own right, the clean-cut honky-tonker’s humble approach and conversational croon was increasingly at odds with mainstream country music’s tilt toward variety-show glitz. Upon joining the post-hippie roots-music radicals taking over the Austin scene (and swearing off barbers forevermore), the Texas-born Nelson became an icon of the ’70s outlaw-country movement, favoring a stripped-down style that could both evoke desert-highway vistas (“On the Road Again”) and initiate the most intimate of conversations (“Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”). But Nelson’s brand of down-home simplicity shouldn’t be confused with dogmatic purism (he’s also no stranger to adult-contemporary crossovers, like his duet with Julio Iglesias, “To All the Girls I've Loved Before”). Rather, he’s always searching for the most direct route to the soul of a song, whether he’s elevating the country standard “Always on My Mind” to the realm of modern hymn, or bringing a wistful, lived-in wisdom to Great American Songbook perennials like “Georgia on My Mind.” In the 21st century, Nelson’s outlaw ethos has continued to manifest itself in all sorts of surprising ways: He’s become America’s most visible pro-marijuana activist and Snoop Dogg’s unlikeliest duet partner.

HOMETOWN
Abbott, TX
GENRE
Country
BORN
April 29, 1933

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