Willie Nelson

Let's Face the Music and Dance (Song Legacy)

Record Review

Willie Nelson

Let's Face the Music and Dance (Sony Legacy)

Following last year's resurgent debut for Sony Legacy, Heroes, Willie Nelson returns with full Family Band intact. The set captures Nelson again transforming the American popular songbook into his own with the ease of his distinctly languorous phrasing and guitar work. Starting in his birth decade with Irving Berlin's title track, the Red Headed Stranger adds a flamenco touch that darkens the edges of his gentle reassurance, which pairs well with the midset "Twilight Time." Absent of new originals, Face the Music revisits Nelson's "Is the Better Part Over," spared the cinematic strings of the original. Bobbie Nelson's piano beautifully backs "You'll Never Know," while instrumentals "Vous et Moi" and Django Reinhardt's "Nuages" are classic, jazzy, Trigger-pulling from the frontman. Carl Perkins' "Matchbox" ups the tempo, and the band romps of "I'll Keep on Loving You" and closer "Shame on You" fill out the sound. An exquisitely contemplative turn into 80.

***

  • More of the Story

  • On the Bus Again

    On the eve of turning 80, Willie Nelson's still calling the tune
READ MORE
More Willie Nelson
Gift Guide: Rock & Roll Books
Pretty Paper: A Christmas Tale
Pretty Paper: A Christmas Tale

Tim Stegall, Dec. 9, 2016

Pretty Paper: A Christmas Tale
Pretty Paper: A Christmas Tale

Tim Stegall, Dec. 2, 2016

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Steve Earle
Guitar Town 30th Anniversary (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Dec. 23, 2016

Texas Platters
Hickoids
The Out of Towners (Record Review)

Greg Beets, Dec. 23, 2016

More by Doug Freeman
Free Week Live Shots
Leopold & His Fiction, Major Major Major, Patch
Spider House Ballroom, Jan. 7

Jan. 13, 2017

Free Week Live Shots
Digital Wild, A. Sinclair, Darkbird
Empire Control Room, Jan. 6

Jan. 13, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Willie Nelson

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)