Music

SongbirdAmerica's greatest living ballad singer is notoriously inconsistent — just listen to last year's ghastly reggae experiment, Countryman. But...SongbirdCountryAmerica's greatest living ballad singer is notoriously inconsistent — just listen to last year's ghastly reggae experiment, Countryman. But...2006-10-30
Willie Nelson

(Willie Nelson: Jim Herrington)

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Songbird

Genre: Country; Lead Performer: Willie Nelson; Producer (group): Lost Highway; Status: In Season

America’s greatest living ballad singer is notoriously inconsistent — just listen to last year’s ghastly reggae experiment, Countryman. But Songbird, a collaboration with Ryan Adams (who produced and lent his backing band) is Willie Nelson’s finest in a decade. The sound is burly, surrounding his inimitable lilt with shuddering electric guitars. But the slow and stately stuff really sparkles, such as a weirdly menacing cover of ”Amazing Grace” and the new Nelson composition ”Back to Earth,” which proves the old troubadour can still write the best weepers around.

Originally posted October 30 2006 — 12:00 AM EST

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