Black Music Matters Festival

Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson

WW II – 2001 (Buddha)

Reviewed by Tom Netherland

CDs by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson

Even legends err sometimes. Sometimes even a pair of them, as with this from Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Originally released in 1982, the album should never have seen the light of day to begin with - much less be re-released. Why? For starters, only 1 of 11 songs were written by either. And that one, Nelson's "Write Your Own Songs," is no "Hello Walls."

Nor is the rest of the album. Credit Chips Moman's over production, too few duets (only 5 of 11 songs are duets) and generally poor song selection. Yet, most of the songs themselves are fine. Otis Redding sang the fire out of "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay." Tom T. Hall's pen and voice rendered "The Year Clayton Delaney Died" a classic. But with Waylon and Willie, the tunes are simply misplaced.

Odd. Especially considering that either outlaw normally rips to shreds and make their own whatever song they're given. But here, even some of the duets are little more than Waylon singing lead with Willie singing backup, as witnessed by the set-opener muck of "Mr. Shuck and Jive." In all, "WWII" bombs. Just goes to show you that the greats aren't always so great.