Title - ‘Band of Brothers’ (Legacy)
Artist - Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson’s new album, Band of Brothers is the quick successor to his last release, To All The Girls - which became Willie Nelson's first Top 10 album in more than three decades when it was released in October 2013. Indeed, Band of Brothers is his first album of predominately new original material in nearly two decades, debuting the master tunesmith's first major batch of newly-penned songs since his Spirit album in 1996.
This lovely, heartwarming, truly fresh-sounding - whether you country music or not - new Willie Nelson album begins with ‘Bring It On’ (“They say there’s no pain without gain, so I must be gaining a lot”) and he backs that with both the back-to-country basics of the highly autobiographical pairing of ‘Guitar In The Corner’ (“Now when I need a song, my mind goes back to days long gone”“I began remembering things I never knew I even knew.“)
Trigger, Willie's guitar, sounds wonderful on this album, especially on the next track ‘Whenever You Come Around.’ A slow track, a reflective track, it is a true beauty and was actually once a minor hit for Vince Gill. That’s followed by the fun ‘Wives and Girlfriends,’ a song that allows Willie to sing about having a love for a multitude of wives and girlfriends; and that he hopes they never meet on the street!
The country heartbreak song ‘I Thought I Left You’ is next and is backed by another song where Willie reflects on a relationship that just didn’t last, ‘Send Me a Picture.’ ‘Used to Her’ provides us with our first bout of western swing, before the slo-poke vibe of ‘The Git Go’ is performed with Jamey Johnson.
The title track, ‘Band of Brothers’ is next, and is itself backed by the gentle country bounce of ‘Hard to Be an Outlaw.‘ Quite easily one of the best tracks on this new album it is followed by the pop flow of ’Crazy Like Me’ and both songs serve to prove that Willie still has a youthful approach to his storytelling. The album comes to a close with the inspirational ‘The Songwriters’ (a song penned by Gordie Sampson and Bill Anderson) and then finally the fast paced ‘I've Got a Lot of Traveling to Do’ (complete with Mickey Raphael's signature harmonica) brings the musical venture to a close.
Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk