from Billboard.com: Seventy-three-year-old music icon Willie Nelson collaborates with 31-year-old singer/songwriter Ryan Adams on his new album, “Songbird.” Due Oct. 31 via Lost Highway, the 11-track set was produced by Adams, whose band the Cardinals back Nelson throughout. Veteran harmonica player Mickey Raphael also appears.
The track list features covers of Gram Parson’s “$1000 Wedding,” Christine McVie’s “Songbird,” the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter favorite “Stella Blue” and Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
In addition, Nelson reworks his own “Rainy Day Blues” (which opens the album), “Sad Songs & Waltzes” and “We Don’t Run,” as well as tackling the traditional “Amazing Grace.”
Nelson is in the midst of a tour with John Fogerty and also has headlining dates on tap through a Sept. 15 appearance at the Austin City Limits festival. On Sept. 30 in Camden, N.J., he will join Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews and Jerry Lee Lewis for Farm Aid in Camden, N.J.
Here is the track list for “Songbird”:
“Rainy Day Blues”
“Back to Earth”
‘We Don’t Run”
“Sad Songs & Waltzes”
Adam Lee Davies at Time Out London has reviewed Graeme Thomson’s Bio of Willie Nelson “The Outlaw” and given it 5 out of 6 stars. I’ll review the book myself once I get my hands on it.
There’s a nice article at Popmatters chronicling the Atlantic recording sessions (Shotgun Willie and Stages and Phases) that established Willie Nelson as a legend in the outlaw country movement and led to a great three CD retrospective of the sessions.
Lyle E Style (yes that is his real name) is a country singer/songwriter from Canada that wanted to know more about the life of Roger Miller he found books on the singer/songwriter scarce. So he did what anybody would do…persuade some of the most famous country artists to spend time with him to talk about memories of Miller and wrote his own damn book, Ain’t Got No Cigarettes: Memories of Music Legend Roger Miller. And it’s a gem!
Buck Owens, Bobby Bare, Roy Clark, David Allan Coe, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson are just a few of the legends that took time to talk to Style about Roger and two things seem to be universally agreed upon by all parties, Roger was a genius and he was loved by all of them. Sure he was an addict (amphetamines and coca-cola) and pissed away a lot of money (sending Lear jets from Las Angeles to Nashville to pick up Bar-B-Que!) but all the stroes and with fond memories.
I had vague memories of driving around with my mom in her huge Olds Delta 88 and hearing Roger’s songs playing endlessly on the radio. For a stretch you couldn’t escape his songs – “Dang Me”, “King of the Road” and “Husbands and Wives.” These songs were as ubiquitous as Ashlee Simpson or The Black-Eyed Peas are today…but without sucking.
Roger Miller passed away far too young, at the age of 56, in October of 1992, of cancer.
He left a legacy that shines in the heart of all the old-school Nashville outlaws and legends that still remember him warmly.
Lost Highway/American Recordings have released a promotional trailer for the album featuring producer Rick Rubin discussing the album’s creation and closure. Cut with black-and-white films of Johnny performing live and recording in the studio, it also offers some of the last footage shot of the performer in his final days.
“The last few years, we [Johnny and I] were always working on songs,” says Rubin. “It was the thing that he said was his reason for being alive, especially after June died. I think it was the only thing that kept him going, the only thing he had to look forward to.
“There were about 60 songs that we recorded since American IV came out. I remember we were at my house and we were finishing American IV, and I remember Johnny feeling like, ‘This may be it.’ And I said at that moment that we’re starting on the album today, tomorrow. Start thinking of songs, start writing.”
You can watch the trailer here, or click to the Myspace page created for the album’s release to hear two songs from the record: “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”, and “Like the 309”, the last song Johnny wrote.