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Willie Nelson

Country Favorites – 2000 (Buddha)

Reviewed by Dan Williams

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CDs by Willie Nelson

"Favorites" - Willie Nelson's second RCA album (1966) - is a pretty standard set mostly notable for the presence of Ernest Tubb's Texas Troubadours as a backing band. Guitarist Leon Rhodes, pedal steel wizard Buddy Charleton and fiddler Wade Ray (among others) enliven the proceedings with some fine Western Swing stylings; particularly with a burning take on Willie's "Columbus Stockade Blues" and Bob Wills' "San Antonio Rose." But his singing seems tentative, and despite some supple ballads, this one doesn't really stick to the ribs. A decent re-issue and definitely of its time, but not remotely close to what would come a decade later with "Red Headed Stranger."