18 Songs, 1 Hour 6 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In his 80th year, Willie Nelson continues to record music at an impressive rate. Of course, he’s sharing the load more often, recording songs with other stars and friends. To All the Girls... features an all-woman lineup to duet with ol’ Willie, and he sounds plenty relaxed in such a pleasing setting. Some are living legends equal to his profile (Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Mavis Staples), while others came after him and crafted their place in music history (Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Wynonna Judd) and a few newer names get a break (Secret Sisters, Miranda Lambert, Brandi Carlile). The music is no-nonsense traditional country, and the songs range from classic Willie to well-chosen, well-known covers and a few originals to fill things out. The Secret Sisters’ harmonies illuminate “It Won’t Be Very Long.” Rosanne Cash accesses her true heart for the Nelson classic “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends,” and Mavis Staples has quite the time with Bill Withers’ “Grandma’s Hands.” There's not a false note to be heard here.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In his 80th year, Willie Nelson continues to record music at an impressive rate. Of course, he’s sharing the load more often, recording songs with other stars and friends. To All the Girls... features an all-woman lineup to duet with ol’ Willie, and he sounds plenty relaxed in such a pleasing setting. Some are living legends equal to his profile (Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Mavis Staples), while others came after him and crafted their place in music history (Rosanne Cash, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Wynonna Judd) and a few newer names get a break (Secret Sisters, Miranda Lambert, Brandi Carlile). The music is no-nonsense traditional country, and the songs range from classic Willie to well-chosen, well-known covers and a few originals to fill things out. The Secret Sisters’ harmonies illuminate “It Won’t Be Very Long.” Rosanne Cash accesses her true heart for the Nelson classic “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends,” and Mavis Staples has quite the time with Bill Withers’ “Grandma’s Hands.” There's not a false note to be heard here.

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About Willie Nelson

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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