Willie Nelson Milk Cow Blues (Island)

Texas Platters

Willie Nelson

Milk Cow Blues (Island)

Meet the culture crusade's next target: Willie Nelson. After all, that titular Bob Wills standard sure ain't about a four-legged cow. Francine Reed churns up a fair froth in retorting "you're gonna need my help someday," so that one skates by on equal time. Then, on "Outskirts of Town," Nelson sings, "If we ever have any children, I want 'em all to look like me." Nobody ever said the blues was pretty, least of all Shotgun Willie. The old man just wants his milk and butter, and if he wants to sing a Billie Holiday song (with Jonny Lang!), it ain't nobody's business if he does. Who wouldn't prefer his duetting with B.B. King on "Night Life" to Eric Clapton? The way the Antone's blues band hits its collective mark every time, Nelson could sing the Sesame Street theme song and have kids searching for the nearest E-Z Bake Oven. The blues is sad music, and he's all too familiar with the heartbreak that makes it the blues. Therefore, it's no great surprise the best song, "Lonely Street," sounds scads more personal than the rockin' "Crazy" duet with Susan Tedeschi. That, "The Thrill Is Gone," and "Funny How Time Slips Away" are all hoots, but when the red-headed stranger takes you "where broken dreams and memories meet," you learn more about life than anyone seeking the land's highest office -- even Willie's man Ralph Nader -- will ever tell you.

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Willie Nelson
My Way (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Nov. 9, 2018

Texas Platters
Carson McHone
Carousel (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Nov. 9, 2018

More by Christopher Gray
Margaret Moser Tribute: Alvin Crow
Alvin Crow
Summer camp with the kids

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
That Margaret Moser, she’s a rainbow

June 30, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle