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Willie Nelson

To All the Girls (Legacy)

Reviewed by Tim Stegall, Fri., Nov. 1, 2013

Texas Platters

Willie Nelson

To All the Girls (Legacy)

A Willie Nelson duets album? Is there anyone who hasn't duetted with Willie already? Apparently, there are 18 women who haven't, but they all get their chance here, including some of country music's first ladies (Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris), revisiting Willie classics ("Bloody Mary Morning" with Wynonna Judd, "Always on My Mind" recast as a torch song with Carrie Underwood). There's even a ride through CCR's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" with daughter Paula that surprises as much for its subdued arrangement as for its choice. The best part: an aptly soulful take on Bill Withers' "Grandma's Hands," featuring the authoritative pipes of none other than Mavis Staples. Willie's band cooks like Al Green's old Hi Records rhythm section as Staples wails and emotes. Church is in session, and suddenly Willie Nelson's been upstaged on his own album. Something tells me Willie didn't mind one bit, no sir.

***

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