Band of Brothers
On his first new album of mostly original material in years, country singer-songwriter Willie Nelson shows his creativity hasn't waned. His tenor sounds true to form on album opener "Bring It On," a song in which he speaks more than he sings. When it comes to storytelling, he's a real natural on songs such as "Guitar in the Corner" and "Hard to be an Outlaw." Moody numbers like "The Wall" and "Whenever You Come Around" are pensive ballads that succeed simply because of Nelson's trembling voice. On "The Git Go," a bluesy tune written by Billy Joe Shaver, Nelson teams up with country singer Jamey Johnson, and the two really bring out the song's dark undertones. At 81, Nelson sounds sharper than ever. Here's to hoping he can bring that energy to his live shows, which, if you've seen the man perform lately, you know have been rather uneven affairs.