Willie Nelson is the Godfather of country gospel. Period. Willie’s roots and musical taste go wide and deep. His new CD is no different yet at the same time totally different. Willie is synonymous with good music, good times and a little of natures good giving’s if you know what I mean. That being said, Willie’s new album doesn’t surprise me at all. It was a matter of time before he mixed the rhythms of Reggae with his own style. His new album ‘Countryman’ re-introduces us, his fans, to Willie’s willingness to try something new and different and he definitely did that this time fore sure.
‘Countryman’ is an album that at first listen sounds, for lack of a better word, strange. We have Willie’s legendary voice mixed with Reggae music and background accompaniment. Then listen to the album again…maybe once more. You will start feeling the groove and understand what Willie’s doing.
Country music is not that different from Reggae. Both forms of music talk about hard times as well as good times. Both styles are rootsy and soulful. And there lies the keyword – soulful. Willie fans know where he comes from. We understand the soulfulness in his music in a way only he can deliver.
Country music has been going through an interesting phase these days. It seems that lately lots of artists have tried the Caribbean influenced music about margaritas, sun and sand. Not Willie. Willie goes a little further south with his music. He went to place in his music that is real. I’m not sure I can say the same about other artists. I can’t help to think that Willie really does have a connection with this musical style.
The new album can easily be a Reggae album. The rhythms are naturally groovy and soulful filled with the bouncy standard bassline and staccato guitar you’d expect from a good Reggae jam. The difference, beside the obvious Willie element, is the harmonica and guitar Willie brings to the table. They blend so well you almost don’t even hear those additional melodies in the songs. Nice job.
What else can I say about this album? You like Willie? You dig the soul Texas Music owns? You like the pleasing sounds of Reggae? Get ‘Countryman’. It’s new and believe me it’s fresh. I say to Willie…Good job…we are proud you stand your ground and do the things that don’t feel safe at first. Do what’s in your heart and soul.