Willie Nelson: Remember Me, Vol.1

Album review
Willie Nelson: Remember Me, Vol.1

Willie Nelson

Remember Me, Vol.1

Label: R & J
Media: CD
Genre: Rock/pop

Those Willie Nelson critics who bait the red-headed stranger for coasting too much as a recording artist will regard Remember Me, Vol. 1 as prima facie evidence. Granted, he could use a bit more glide in his stride at points on this collection of classic country tunes—Hank Snow’s “I’m Movin’ On” deserves more juice than Willie’s laid- back version delivers. But with producer James Stroud shaping a dynamic country soundscape featuring the basic, tight band in the foreground supporting clean, clear, center-channel vocals, Nelson more often than not brings something special to these evergreens: on a true-to-Tennessee Ernie Ford arrangement of “Sixteen Tons,” he’s bluesy and resigned, with John Hobbs’ eerie, shimmering keyboard flourishes enhancing a foreboding ambiance; Vern Gosdin’s 1989 heartbreaker, “That Just About Does It,” with crying steel lines and a keening fiddle, inspires a wry but fatalistic beauty of a broken-hearted melody; and on Porter Wagoner’s 1955 chart topper, “A Satisfied Mind,” with Sonny Garish’s plaintive steel and Aubrey Haynie’s weeping fiddle as his Greek chorus, Willie’s equanimity—in telling of a man who loses everything but gains his soul in return—is born of his own missteps, and truly earned. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Willie Nelson
  • CD

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