Wednesday, September 7, 2011

#46: Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson - Waylon & Willie

Release Year: 1978

Sometimes when getting to know people, the question comes up: "Do you listen to country music?"  To that I am often tempted to respond, with a silent jab at what passes for country nowadays, "I listen to country music.  Do you?"

I hate that new crap that passes for country music, and so does the Rolling Stone editor whose comments are pasted on the back of the vinyl edition which I possess: "Some of the stuff that's passing for country these nothing but a disgrace.  The world needs a lot more Waylon & Willie right now and a whole lot less of that other crap."  Yes, I hate what I typically refer to as country pop, which is what most modern country is.

That's not to say "Waylon & Willie" wasn't popular.  It was.  In fact, this came at the height of the outlaw country movement, and it topped the country charts for several months.  But this was legitimate country.

 The music here is solid, with the highlights being two songs written by another outlaw country stalwart, Kris Kristofferson: "Don't Cuss The Fiddle" and "The Year 2003 Minus 25."  I first fell in love with these tunes when I heard them performed by the lighthearted bluegrass cover trio Keller and the Keels.  This is probably not the greatest country album ever, but it is the one that introduced me to both Jennings and Nelson, and the outlaw country movement in general.  More importantly, it showed me that country music can be enjoyed, if done correctly.

Standout tracks:
  • Don't Cuss The Fiddle
  • The Year 2003 Minus 25
  • The Wurlitzer Prize 

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