Willie Nelson: Heroes (Legacy) 

With Willie Nelson taking on so many collaborators, Heroes is inevitably scattered—and cynics might say it's merely a vehicle to boost his son Lukas' career—but it strikes gold again and again.

Opener "A Horse Called Music" is a beautiful duet with Merle Haggard, classic country at its best, with a soft harmonica riding alongside those two grizzled outlaw crooners.

"Roll Me Up" ("And Smoke Me When I Die") is a barrel of fun, letting Nelson swap vocals with similarly weed-inclined guests Snoop Dogg, Kris Kristofferson and Jamey Johnson.

Lukas Nelson is clearly his father's son, with a honeyed rasp passed down through DNA. Lukas contributes three songs—ranging from good to the great "Every Time He Drinks He Thinks of Her"—and nails the duets.

The surprise gems are the Pearl Jam and Coldplay covers. "Just Breathe" features finger-picked guitars, harmonica, pedal steel and beautifully blended harmony from both Nelsons. "The Scientist" is Willie (79 years wise) giving a passionately weary rendition that adds depth of feeling to that familiar melody.

I've heard bits and pieces of Nelson's albums since 1998's Teatro—excursions into blues, reggae, gospel, jazz, standards and a long string of duets—but Heroes is the first album in that span to arrive with execution that exceeds the gimmicks. It's a jumble, but Willie delivers at least a handful of songs that will make whatever best-of collection comes along next.

More by Eric Swedlund

  • This Ain’t Basketball

    Diverse Tucson quintet unleashes its fifth LP
    • Oct 20, 2016

    Matt and Kim headline new Dusk Music Festival bringing other national and local acts together
    • Oct 13, 2016
  • The Madcap Laughs

    Why onetime Tucsonan Robyn Hitchcock is a two and a half trick pony
    • Oct 6, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

Song of the Day: 'Cosmic Love Song No. 23' by Louise Le Hir

The Lantern Fest: Get Your Shine On

Fill Up On Beer, Bands and Brats at 4thtober Fest

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Noise Annoys

    Mute Swan and the Curse of Local Hype
    • Oct 20, 2016
  • Honky Tonk Girl

    How this Tucson 19-year-old might trip the country electric
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2016 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation