Willie Nelson 'Heroes' - Sony Music

When you think that you might have enough Willie Nelson albums in your collection he comes along with another essential addition to his catalogue. This Buddy Cannon produced set features his son Lukas on several tracks, three of which he also wrote. His voice has an instant family recognizability and makes him an ideal duet partner for his father. He is also joined by a selection of friends and fellow travelers in Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Price, Billy Joe Shaver, Sheryl Crow, Jamey Johnson and Snoop Dogg. Good company and not there to help give some new upstart credibility. Willie is such a icon and, as such, is so immediately identifiable that he is never in danger of being upstaged. A veteran of many a duet he's always front and centre as is unique use of his trusted guitar Trigger. There are a number of classic songs like My Window Faces The South and Cold War With You as well as a distinctive takes on Eddie Vedder's Just Breathe and Coldplay's The Scientist (this track produced by Justin Stanley and Doyle Bramhall 11 and the only solo vocal from Willie). But the songs that will immediately raise a smile is Roll Me Up a new song written by Nelson, Cannon and others. "Roll me up and smoke me when I die" being it's appropriate theme. There are a number of players important to the overall success of the album and they include Mike Johnson on steel guitar, Lukas Nelson on electric guitar and long time contributor Mickey Raphael on his trademark harmonica. All of those involved deliver and it is a pleasure to listen to this album again and again, as you hear little nuances that might pass you by on first listen. It is also a celebration of some of country music's surviving heroes. That they aren't as lauded as their friend Johnny Cash was is a great pity as Haggard, Kristofferson, Price and Shaver as well as Willie himself are all vocalists and song interpreters who give so much life and dignity to these songs, bringing both old and new together in a cohesive way. As Willie sings " the world's getting crazy and seems to be getting worse every day", so you need this sort of album to help you deal with it. The album Heroes is full them. It's an album old fans and new ones should celebrate and hold close to their hearts.