Willie Nelson - Remember Me Vol. 1
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Remember Me Vol. 1 (R&J, 2011)

Willie Nelson

Reviewed by Greg Yost

Willie Nelson is acclaimed as both a songwriter and a guitar player, but he has also rightfully earned a stellar reputation as an interpreter of classic songs. On "Remember Me Vol. 1," Nelson takes another successful stab at covering standards, this time from the rich annals of country music history.

There's no focus on a particular time period here, rather the 14 songs cover the vast musical territory between Tex Williams' Smoke That Cigarette from 1947, all the way through to Vern Gosdin's 1989 hit, That Just About Does It. In between, Willie touches on some of country's biggest hits from artists like Porter Wagoner, Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb and Merle Haggard.

Nelson's distinctive and warm voice, which is both comforting and comfortable, breezes effortlessly through each song. Nelson doesn't try to reinvent these songs, he just adds his own stylistic flair to clean and straightforward arrangements. Some of the slower songs like Wagoner's Satisfied Mind, Webb Pierce's Slowly and Ray Price's Release Me do the best job of showcasing the emotional depth of Nelson's vocal performance and recall his work on the amazing 1978 album "Stardust."

The musicians, all top-notch Nashville studio players, are also memorable throughout. Brent Mason (electric guitar), John Hobbs (piano/keyboards) and Aubrey Haynie (fiddle/mandolin) all make notable contributions on songs like Smoke That Cigarette, Haggard's Ramblin' Fever and Fred Rose's Roly Poly, a single that reached the third spot on the country charts for Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys in 1946.


CDs by Willie Nelson

First Rose of Spring, 2020 Ride Me Back Home, 2019 My Way, 2018 Last Man Standing, 2018 Willie's Stash Volume 2, 2017 God's Problem Child, 2017 Summertime Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, 2016 Band of Brothers, 2014 To All the Girls..., 2013 Let's Face the Music and Dance, 2013 Freedom, 2012 Remember Me Vol. 1, 2011 Country Music, 2010 American Classic, 2009 Lost Highway, 2009 Naked Willie, 2009 One Hell of a Ride, 2008 Moment of Forever, 2008 Songbird, 2006 Live From Austin, TX, 2006 Songs of Cindy Walker, 2006 You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker, 2006


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