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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Willie Nelson - Countryman

Ten years in the making, Willie Nelson's new release Countryman is his first reggae album. Yes, you read that right. It all started in 1995, when Willie approached Island Records with his idea for reggae versions of some of his songs. He began work on the project and recorded most of the songs, but when Island Records founder Chris Blackwell left the company, the album idea was shelved.

Fast forward to the present. Willie signed to Lost Highway Records, and the project was dusted off. Countryman was produced by Don Was. One of the standouts of the album is a Johnny/June Carter Cash-penned song called "I'm a Worried Man," recorded as a duet with Toots Hibbert (Toots and the Maytals).

As an interesting news aside, the cover art (featuring images of marijuana leaves) has been the source of some controversy. Retail giant Wal-Mart has refused to sell the album as originally designed, so an alternate version with palm trees instead of the offending cannabis will be offered at your local big box.

Another great summer, sit on the porch and have a beer record.

Listen to Willie Nelson - Countryman


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