Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Album Review: Willie Nelson - Ride Me Back Home

Willie Nelson
Ride Me Back Home
***and1/2 out of *****

Willie Nelson's last three albums (outside of cover records) have all been rock solid as the wizened American legend faces the end of his career with professionalism and grace, still crafting and singing with passion and a voice that stays warm throughout.

This late career run began with the best of the bunch, God's Problem Child as Nelson showed he had a ton left to say, Last Man Standing was a great follow up and now comes Ride Me Back Home, the third best of this run, but still a worthy addition to Nelsons catalog. Mixing covers and originals the album finds Nelson right in his sweet spot.

The title track opener is the best song on the record as the piano ballad with harmonica flourishes (from the best in the business Mickey Raphael) finds Nelson singing in his strongest voice on a love song to an old horse. The track (a combo between Nelson and Sonny Throckmorton) in his best voice singing a deeply moving track for an animal he has cared and advocated for. 

Two Guy Clark tracks get the Willie treatment as the first (and more famous) "My Favorite Picture Of You" is fine, but the more timely "Immigrant Eyes" strikes a deeper chord. A cover of Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are" is pretty standard fare but Nelson's voice is always a joy as is the more country waltzing take on Mac Davis "It's Hard To Be Humble" with a smirk and wink as he plays and sings with his sons.

Two of the best tracks are new ones from Nelson and his writing partner Buddy Cannon. "One More Song To Write" is a great last gasp effort that is vibrant with flamenco flourishes while "Seven Year Itch" is a sexy slow blues number which feels vigorous from the spry 86 year old. The heavily produced closer, a take on Buzz Rabin's "Maybe I Should Have Been Listening" is a weepy closer that strikes the right note, not going too over the top and allowing Willie to go out in the center of it all.

Who knows how many more albums Nelson has in him, but RtBE said that when God's Problem Child came out and he is still going strong so we won't count him out as he still sounds great.

Support the artist, buy the album and peep some video below:

No comments:

Post a Comment