This week, it’s a celebration of the music of country legend Willie Nelson. The third time I’ve done this, in fact, which might be a surprise to some of you, who know I don’t typically like those two types of music: Country and Western. Well, it’s mostly “new” country music that I have a problem with it. Fewer unique voices, and even fewer unique arrangements. Look at Willie Nelson for example. A completely unmistakable voice. As soon as you hear the opening verses of a Willie Nelson song, you know who it is immediately.
And I think that’s what makes him such a great performer, especially when it comes to cover songs. His stamp is all over every song he covers, and there’s never a compromise. He sings it HIS way, and that’s what you’re going to get. The same goes when you’re covering a Willie Nelson song. You’ve got to paint it in your own colors, of course, but there’s an undeniable Willie-Nelson-ness to the song you’re covering. It’s why when people hear Willie’s version of “Crazy,” it’s like a final puzzle piece falls into place. Sure, Patsy Cline made it her own, but it fits so perfectly with Willie’s voice, you have no doubt it was the voice that the song was written in.
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