WILLIE NELSON: Heroes

SOR- Willie Nelson - Heroes

 
 
 
 

WILLIE NELSON
Heroes
Columbia/Legacy 88691960482

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As on last year’s Remember Me Vol. 1 with “This Ole House,” Nelson – still prolific at 79 – can view mortality with humor (“Roll me up and smoke me when I die”). The iconic Texan lets us know where he stands (“Come on back, Jesus, and pick up John Wayne on the way … It’s time to take off the gloves. They just don’t respect peace anymore.”) as he goes from 1940s country (“My Window Faces the South,” “Cold War with You”) to Coldplay’s “The Scientist” and Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe.”

There’s help from generations of friends including Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Cheryl Crow and Snoop Dogg plus sons Micah and, especially, Lukas Nelson. Is it surprising that Lukas’s vocal inflections resemble his dad’s both here and on his own worthy new rock/Americana Wasted (listed as by Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real)? Sonic and lyrical treats await people who listen well: Lukas’s line “the sound of your memory,” Mickey Raphael’s harmonica riffs, the quiet echo of the phrase “high on a mountain” as Willie revisits his 1989 “A Horse Called Music” where a second horse, a riderless one, is called Memories. — Bruce Sylvester

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