Willie Nelson, three chords and truth

We might think that all American music stars are stars in Spain as well, but there are subtle exceptions, there are very big artists here like Mr. Willie Nelson who are pretty much overlooked. While among us he is often referred to as the cowboy who recorded a duet with Julio Iglesias, the truth is that we are facing a legendary figure and the heavyweight of the country, notice, who are more than happy to record every year without impressing him. Its 90th anniversary, which it will celebrate on April 29, is approaching at a gallop.

Non-trivial albums should be sung, like The Healthy Good Times (a compendium of Cohen or Lennon-McCartney’s original songs and adaptations, Grammy 2023 for best country album) and the album that saw it, released last spring. Last week’s mild, I don’t know anything about love is a modest title to pay homage to the famous bard Harlan Howard (1927-2002). A Stakhanovist prolific writer (about 4,000 compositions ascribed to him) who consistently hit the country charts of the 1960s and was always admired by the greats of the field: Buck Owens and Waylon Jennings dedicated their entire albums and songs to him. The fetish has been the subject of all kinds of adaptations.

Like Busted was recorded in 1963 by Ray Charles and Johnny Cash. This fatalistic lament, written in a sad tone by an honest citizen punished by the economy (“cotton has fallen to a quarter of a kilo”, “I have a dried-up cow and a chicken that does not lay eggs”), is one of them. Parade numbers for the tribute album in this sense, where Nelson closed the ranks with the sound of his life.

We’re talking about the Nashville tradition, which is embellished where necessary (no shortage of organ and steel guitar embellishments here, and Melonie Cannon’s beautiful backing vocals), but which is well suited to the simple and emotional nature and raw stories of the compositions. through an open heart. Harlan Howard is best known for describing a country country that made history: “Three chords and truth.”

And there’s that carousel of soulful tunes that Nelson’s weathered voice honors with emotion, from the balladism of The Chokin genre to the trot of Tiger’s tail to the melancholy played by Beautiful Annabel Lee’s harmonica. A relaxed and comfortable album will be hard to make up for in Spain (which the country never really caught on) for the artist’s omission, but it will probably be received with great pleasure in his home country of various luxury events. For him on the occasion of that resounding birthday: two separate memorial concerts at the Hollywood Bowl with colleagues like Neil Young, Beck or Norah Jones, and a documentary series called Willie Nelson & Family, which premiered at the final edition of the Sundance festival.

Source: Informacion


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