Willie Nelson is one of the most prolific artists in Country music. At the age of 84 he’s still writing, recording and touring, and frequently pops up on collaborations with other artists. With an incredible catalogue of music under his belt, Nelson’s latest release is Willie and the Boys: Willie’s Stash Vol 2, the follow-up to 2014’s Willie’s Stash Vol 1: December Day, which was a collaboration with his sister Bobbie Nelson.
Willie and the Boys: Willie’s Stash Vol 2 is a collaborative album by Nelson with his sons Lukas and Micah. The 12 songs featured on the release were recorded in 2011 during the sessions for Nelson’s 2012 album Heroes. Grammy-winning producer Buddy Cannon worked his magic on the collection, which was recorded live by Steve Chadie at Pedernales Recordings Studio in Austin, Texas.
Seven songs included on the album are Hank Williams covers and the rest are Country standards with one track written by Nelson. Willie and the Boys: Willie’s Stash Vol 2 opens with a cover of Move It On Over, a cover of Williams’ 1947 12-bar blues song. The bouncy beat of the track is uplifting and it’s a great way to settle you into the album. The vocals on the track, and throughout the album, are performed by Nelson, Lukas and Micah and their chemistry is electric throughout.
Healing Hands of Time, the song Nelson wrote, is one of the highlights of the album. You can hear the different qualities in the voices of Nelson, Lukas and Micah and they harmonise together really well. There’s a commonality with their tones but at the same time each sounds so unique too. They complement each other well.
Elsewhere on the record a cover of Hank Locklin’s Send Me the Pillow You Dream On puts harmonies in the spotlight, William’s Your Cheatin’ Heart is given a new lease of life by the trio and the Alyssa William’s penned My Tears Fall embraces the traditional sound of Country effortlessly adding a modern aspect to the record. The standout on the record is closing track Why Don’t You Love Me, the final Williams cover. It’s really infectious and has a great energy to it.
Willie Nelson is one of the most talented artists Country music has ever seen and it seems that his sons have picked up their father’s talents too. Willie and the Boys: Willie’s Stash Vol 2 is a superb record and it’s hard to believe these were recorded and not released until now. It’s rare to have a career with such longevity but Nelson has really maintained a very high standard, and this album is a real treat to add to his impressive catalogue.
Track list: 1. Move It on Over 2. Mind Your Own Business 3. Healing Hands of Time 4. Can I Sleep in Your Arms 5. Send Me the Pillow You Dream On 6. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry 7. I’m Movin’ On 8. Your Cheatin’ Heart 9. My Tears Fall 10. Cold, Cold Heart 11. Mansion on the Hill 12. Why Don’t You Love Me Record label: Sony Music Release date: 20th October 2017