Willie Nelson Shows Soul With 'Band of Brothers'
The country music icon and “Crazy” crooner returns with a new album at 81.
Willie Nelson’s Band of Brothers is his first album since 1996 to feature a majority of his own songs — a 20-year wait that proves to be well worth it. At age 81, Nelson does not appear to have retirement in mind at all, with nine of the 14 songs written with Buddy Cannon, the album’s producer.
Band of Brothers starts with the song “Bring It On,” which keeps the vintage country feel that Nelson is so well known for. “They say there is not gain without pain,” he sings to start the song off, as if to foreshadow the rest of the album and tell the story of its creation.
The heartfelt words of Nelson’s writing can be heard throughout the entire album, making it something that has not been seen from the artist in years.
Nelson also sings about love, particularly lost love, in songs like “I Thought I Left You” and “Send Me a Picture.” The ballad of “I Thought I Left You” builds up the sounds of resentment that any breakup would bring. Nelson seems to be undergoing an inner struggle as he sings “I thought I left you, don’t you think it’s time you let me be,” and this is a song that is relatable to listeners of all ages.
“Send Me a Picture” has the sound of classic country soul music, while again capturing feelings of heartbreak. Is Nelson facing a lost love as the sweet instrumental breaks throughout the song get to the deep roots of country music?
Other songs on the album like “Wives and Girlfriends” are more upbeat in the singalong style that this master is known for. The song features the line: “I love my wives and I love my girlfriends, but may they never meet.” How could you not sing along.
Band of Brothers is filled with music essential to continue building Nelson’s career. He doesn’t try to be anyone he’s not. The sound is simply Willie Nelson.
Band of Brothers is available on iTunes for $10.99.
MJGephart / February 3, 2016
I have loved Willy Nelson since the 50’s. I was just a teenager then. Hope I get a chance to see him. When I married my husband 53 1/2 yrs ago all we ever sang to was Country and Willy. Now that he is ill I play Willys tapes and it makes him smile. God Bless him for all the joy he has brought to us in our lives.