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Walkin' with Willie Nelson - Another new album with the same old dog (1 Viewer)

Eephus

Footballguy
New dog, old schtick. This is a thread where I listen to albums while walking the dog and write about both. I did it with my old dog Bosley and the music of Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra. Boz passed away on February 23, 2020 and I found that writing about his last months was kind of therapeutic.

It's not really a New Year's resolution but I'm trying to make an effort to be more active on this board. I've become more insular during the pandemic because I'm not getting out as much and some friends have moved away. I've also noticed my writing skills have atrophied since I retired. I don't miss the business emails, project proposals and white papers but they helped my ability to string sentences together. I've lost some of that in the past three years and I don't want it fade away completely.

This go around will be with Willie Nelson. He's a national treasure of course but I'm not that familiar with his albums. I've owned a few and listened to a bunch but according to Wikipedia, he's released 95 studio and 13 live albums. I doubt we'll make it through the entire discography but there are more than enough to keep us entertained on our walks.

My current best dog ever is Louis, the latest in a series of all black mutts that we've had since Mrs. Eephus and I have been together. They've gotten progressively smaller over the decades. Charlie was a German shepherd mix and went about 35 lbs. Boz had some dachshund and pug in him and was a short and stout 24 lbs. Lou is some kind of a chihuahua terrier mix and is a little guy at 11-12 lbs. He's extremely shy although much less so than when we got him in August 2020. I doubt my dog stories will be as interesting as the ones about Boz were. Old Boz was always getting lost and falling down but he was friendly to everyone and an old dog wearing sunglasses sparked a lot of conversations. Lou is the furthest thing from that but I love him and I hope you will too.
 
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Country Willie: His Own Songs (1965)

We'll start with something old--Willie's third album and his first for RCA. Country Willie was recorded in 1965 when he was 32 years old. He'd been a successful songwriter with hits for Faron Young and Patsy Cline so it was only natural to re-record a dozen of them for his RCA debut.

Producer Chet Atkins gives the record a generic 60s Nashville sheen but strings and choirs are thankfully used sparingly. Willie's voice is sweetened by a ton of reverb and his oddly disembodied acoustic guitar parts are way over in the left channel of a typically spacious early stereo mix. Willie's voice is in good form but he's already struggling a bit to hit the upper register. His unique conversational phrasing is also present but not as pronounced as his later recordings. The songs are all Nelson originals with a plainspoken directness that characterizes his writing.

The songs are all good but the production smoothes out some of Willie's personality. I'll highlight "Are You Sure", a sad saloon weeper about his partner who's left him to hang out at the bar. The verses set the scene but the bridge is where Willie's heartbreak becomes apparent.  Kacey Musgraves covered it a few years back and the song worked equally well with a female perspective.

Lou is a great little walker. It took over a year for him to stop hiding under the bed when it was time to go outside but even then he knew to heel and respond to commands. I have to keep him on leash though because he tends to bolt when he gets frightened and he's afraid of everything. But other than that, he's always there at my side.

ETA:  I almost forget to write about the album cover.  It's Willie looking impossibly young and a little mischievous.   In keeping with the album title, he's been dressed in a white t-shirt and bib overalls and placed in front of a wooden fence in sort of a Tom Sawyer pose. He presumably just finished writing the album title on the fence but only has a tiny piece of chalk and somehow managed to get some of the letters in between the slats of the fence.  He also would have had a hard time reaching high enough for the top line of the title.

 
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Can't wait until you get to the GoldenPlane years.


I'm not up on my Willie lore so I googled GoldenPlane Willie Nelson.  I still don't know what it means but I found this story about Willie.

“Willie was flying in to the landing strip near Happy Shahan’s Western town that they used for the Alamo movie set. Happy is watching the plane coming in, knowing Willie is on it. The plane hits a big chughole in the strip and flips over on its side and crashes. Happy likes news and publicity, you know, so first thing he does is pick up the phone and call the radio stations, the TV, the newspapers. Happy says, ‘Willie Nelson’s plane just crashed. Y’all better hurry.’

“He jumped in a Jeep and drove out to the crash to pick up the remains. And here comes Willie and his pilot, limping up the road. The media people were arriving by then. They started firing questions at Willie. How did he survive? Was he dying? Was he even hurt? Willie smiles and says, ‘Why, this was a perfect landing. I walked away from it, didn’t I?'”

 
I'm not up on my Willie lore so I googled GoldenPlane Willie Nelson.  I still don't know what it means but I found this story about Willie.

“Willie was flying in to the landing strip near Happy Shahan’s Western town that they used for the Alamo movie set. Happy is watching the plane coming in, knowing Willie is on it. The plane hits a big chughole in the strip and flips over on its side and crashes. Happy likes news and publicity, you know, so first thing he does is pick up the phone and call the radio stations, the TV, the newspapers. Happy says, ‘Willie Nelson’s plane just crashed. Y’all better hurry.’

“He jumped in a Jeep and drove out to the crash to pick up the remains. And here comes Willie and his pilot, limping up the road. The media people were arriving by then. They started firing questions at Willie. How did he survive? Was he dying? Was he even hurt? Willie smiles and says, ‘Why, this was a perfect landing. I walked away from it, didn’t I?'”
Good story, I thought you said you were listening to @Willie Neslon, that was his band.

I am not a huge country fan, but I do like some of the older guys, notably Willie. I like the idea of the thread, too. Reminds of something Dave Letterman would do now.

Sorry about Boz.

 
Looking forward to this Eephus.  I grew up listing to Willie because of my dad, who loved Willie and sang/played lots of his songs around many a campfire back when I was young. My first live show was Willie Nelson with my dad at the old Grandstand stage at Summerfest - probably late 70's or so. We walked in early and sat on the benches right up front/center. He had his trademark Martin with a big hole in the front and the knit red/white/blue strap, red bandana around his neck. Emmy Lou was on stage with him - she had long black hair back then, a long white dress and was about the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen or heard. I remember my dad waiving away a couple joints that were offered, although I'm sure he took more than a few hits when I wasn't looking. As I hit my teens, I rejected all that country/folk stuff in favor of punk music and new wave stuff, but I somehow was later drawn back to the country/bluegrass music from my dad and its never left me. The last time I saw my dad before he died, almost exactly 5 years ago, I listened to Shotgun Willie looping all the way home - will never forget that flight. That was the only Willie I had downloaded on my iPad with me on the plane, and is one of the best. About 2 years ago, I bought a single front row seat for a show here, but its been cancelled and rescheduled several times. Haven't got a refund yet, but I'm not very hopeful I'll ever see him again.

My favorite Willie record is Phases and Stages. The 3 record run of Shotgun Willie, Phases/Stages and Red Headed Stranger is his best work by far for me. I still listen to these three pretty often.

 
I love dogs and I love music

sorry to hear about Bosley. Was he named after the Charlie’s Angels character or the hair restoration company ?


Boz came to with that name and it seemed to fit him.

When we adopted Louis, he was named Terrell. I don't know if that was really his name or just the prison name the SPCA gave him. Whatever it was he didn't answer to it so we decided to rename him. My daughter @ditkaburgers had strong opinions that it had to be person's name ending in a long e sound which narrowed things down considerably. We eventually decided on Louie which of course we spell like the Francophiles we are.

Louis is partly in homage to one of the two brothers who own our local corner store that got us through the early months of the pandemic.  They're the nicest guys and run a clean, well stocked operation that's a huge asset of my neighborhood in SF.

 
Love Willie Nelson. I am a rocker but deep down, Willie has always been my go to. I have seen him around a dozen times and have never been disappointed. For my money, the best Willie album is Red Headed Stranger. The guitar work on that album is pretty damn amazing. 

 
Looking forward to this Eephus.  I grew up listing to Willie because of my dad, who loved Willie and sang/played lots of his songs around many a campfire back when I was young. My first live show was Willie Nelson with my dad at the old Grandstand stage at Summerfest - probably late 70's or so. We walked in early and sat on the benches right up front/center. He had his trademark Martin with a big hole in the front and the knit red/white/blue strap, red bandana around his neck. Emmy Lou was on stage with him - she had long black hair back then, a long white dress and was about the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen or heard. I remember my dad waiving away a couple joints that were offered, although I'm sure he took more than a few hits when I wasn't looking. As I hit my teens, I rejected all that country/folk stuff in favor of punk music and new wave stuff, but I somehow was later drawn back to the country/bluegrass music from my dad and its never left me. The last time I saw my dad before he died, almost exactly 5 years ago, I listened to Shotgun Willie looping all the way home - will never forget that flight. That was the only Willie I had downloaded on my iPad with me on the plane, and is one of the best. About 2 years ago, I bought a single front row seat for a show here, but its been cancelled and rescheduled several times. Haven't got a refund yet, but I'm not very hopeful I'll ever see him again.

My favorite Willie record is Phases and Stages. The 3 record run of Shotgun Willie, Phases/Stages and Red Headed Stranger is his best work by far for me. I still listen to these three pretty often.


I've never seen Willie live but I'm very familiar with the old Summerfest main stage.  It's amazing how music and memory can be so tightly entwined.

 
Good stuff. Need a pic of Louis. That’s the name of my 120 lb chocolate lab. Saw Willie at his Outlaw concert 3 or 4 years ago. Way passed his prime and I wished I saw him earlier. 

 
Always read but rarely commented on your Dylan thread.  Looking forward to reading about Louis and Willie.  

 
Dang Willie's got a _lot_ of albums
He’s got a ton of compilation and greatest hits records but was extremely prolific in the studio as well. I think it might be partly driven by his tax problems - he just has to keep churning out music. Only one really good live record that I recall but it’s a double. There is a lot of filler and bad music in there. Louis better like long walks. 

 
He’s got a ton of compilation and greatest hits records but was extremely prolific in the studio as well. I think it might be partly driven by his tax problems - he just has to keep churning out music. Only one really good live record that I recall but it’s a double. There is a lot of filler and bad music in there. Louis better like long walks. 


He's also has more collaborative albums than most artists have albums.  Willie has given co-billing to Waylon, Merle, Ray Price, Wynton Marsalis, Asleep at the Wheel, his children, his sister, you name it.

 
Good story, I thought you said you were listening to @Willie Neslon, that was his band.

I am not a huge country fan, but I do like some of the older guys, notably Willie. I like the idea of the thread, too. Reminds of something Dave Letterman would do now.
Willie does other genres too. I love his jazzy albums of standards and his own songs, and I enjoy his gospel records too. I also dig his Milk Cow Blues album. He can do anything. He is one of my favorites in the music world. My mom is a big fan, and so I grew up hearing him, and he has always been relevant to me with music. I've seen him probably about 13 times live. These days when seeing him live, how much energy he has varies. I've seen him (and his sister Bobbie) shuffle on stage, and a couple years later he has a skip in his step. He always perks up once he has his guitar Trigger in his hands, which he can still play well. His lyrics are more spoken these days than sung, but he still does sing and carry a tune on specific songs. He still uses pot, but he quit smoking it in 2019 due to the chronic lung issues it has caused, and that can interfere with singing. His band, which many times consist of several family members and always his sister, always keep things humming, and Willie is always personable with the audience. 

The last time I had tickets to see him was 2020. He was supposed to kickoff the Merlefest with Alison Krauss, and his son Lukas and his band the Promise of the Reel were opening for them on that Thursday night. The festival was cancelled due to covid.  When I saw him at his Outlaw Festival in May of 2018, he walked on the stage and walked back off (he did this twice), and never came back on. He was the last to play (Mitchell Lee, Wild Feathers, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Sturgill Simpson already played), but he had a bad stomach bug apparently, and he couldn't play. Puking or having the squirts on stage would not have been good.  He was 85 at this point. The next day he promised to make it up, and he did. He returned two months later, and everyone who had tickets to the May show got in free for his makeup show. Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Jamey Johnson, and the Avett Brothers played before it was Willie and his bands turn. When Willie got to the mic on stage he said, "I feel like I'm having déjà vu."  I was surprised that he did his Outlaw Festival last year and Farm Aid, because of the Delta variant going around. His sons Lukas and Micah had him under lock and key when the pandemic began, and Lukas said his dad kept trying to sneek out and go to his golf course.  Anyway, He is 88 now, and I'll keep seeing him as long as he can do it. I know if his health is cooperating with him, he will be on the road again. 🤠

 
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@simey Great write up. I don't know if I am just getting older and more mellow, or my wife's influence is making me a better human being, but I love reading about what other people love. Looking forward to getting an education in here, finding more to love about Willie, and reading more of these kind of stories. 

 
Grew up with a dad that only listened to country music. Most of it was not my thing, but I always liked Willie, Johnny & Glen. 🎸
I love Glenn. I remember watching the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.  Speaking of which, here is a video of a young Willie and Glen on Glen's Goodtime Hour performing Willie's song "Hello Walls."  They sound good together. An older Glenn has a few things to say about Willie before the song.  Here is Another oldie of a young Willie (and Trigger) and Glen on the Goodtime Hour doing "Columbus Stockade Blues." Glen shows off his guitar skills. Back when I was young, it took me a bit to warm up to Johnny, but I did. His baritone voice and black clothes kinda scared me as a child. 😃

 
 Back when I was young, it took me a bit to warm up to Johnny, but I did. His baritone voice and black clothes kinda scared me as a child. 😃
My mother was hard of hearing. She liked Johnny the most because his booming voice was easy to hear. 

 
Willie does other genres too. I love his jazzy albums of standards and his own songs, and I enjoy his gospel records too. I also dig his Milk Cow Blues album. He can do anything. He is one of my favorites in the music world. My mom is a big fan, and so I grew up hearing him, and he has always been relevant to me with music. I've seen him probably about 13 times live. These days when seeing him live, how much energy he has varies. I've seen him (and his sister Bobbie) shuffle on stage, and a couple years later he has a skip in his step. He always perks up once he has his guitar Trigger in his hands, which he can still play well. His lyrics are more spoken these days than sung, but he still does sing and carry a tune on specific songs. He still uses pot, but he quit smoking it in 2019 due to the chronic lung issues it has caused, and that can interfere with singing. His band, which many times consist of several family members and always his sister, always keep things humming, and Willie is always personable with the audience. 

The last time I had tickets to see him was 2020. He was supposed to kickoff the Merlefest with Alison Krauss, and his son Lukas and his band the Promise of the Reel were opening for them on that Thursday night. The festival was cancelled due to covid.  When I saw him at his Outlaw Festival in May of 2018, he walked on the stage and walked back off (he did this twice), and never came back on. He was the last to play (Mitchell Lee, Wild Feathers, Old Crow Medicine Show, and Sturgill Simpson already played), but he had a bad stomach bug apparently, and he couldn't play. Puking or having the squirts on stage would not have been good.  He was 85 at this point. The next day he promised to make it up, and he did. He returned two months later, and everyone who had tickets to the May show got in free for his makeup show. Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, Jamey Johnson, and the Avett Brothers played before it was Willie and his bands turn. When Willie got to the mic on stage he said, "I feel like I'm having déjà vu."  I was surprised that he did his Outlaw Festival last year and Farm Aid, because of the Delta variant going around. His sons Lukas and Micah had him under lock and key when the pandemic began, and Lukas said his dad kept trying to sneek out and go to his golf course.  Anyway, He is 88 now, and I'll keep seeing him as long as he can do it. I know if his health is cooperating with him, he will be on the road again. 🤠
I last saw Willie and Family in February 2020, right before everything shut down. Believe it or not, Lil Sister Bobbie was not there. He did have his 2 boys with him though. They brought a new energy to the band and made it one of the better shows from Willie in quite a few years. 

 
Angel Eyes (1984)

One way to remember to talk about the album cover is to chose a record that looks like this. I would have loved to have been in the meeting with the art department at Columbia where the artwork was green lighted. It looks more like an album by Duran Duran or The Fixx than what you'd expect from Willie Nelson.  The weird airbrushed eyes and diagonal streaks of color have a very 80s Nagel vibe about them.  Way at the bottom are the words "featuring the guitar of Jackie King"; I didn't notice this at first but the cover credit became clear once I listened to the album.

There's always a bit of country in everything Nelson touches but Angel Eyes is primarily a Jazz album.  The eight songs are Jazz standards rather than Willie originals and the backing band "featuring the guitar of Jackie King" is a typical small Jazz combo. King is a fine player but his busy picking overwhelms Willie at times. The bass player plays an electric fretless bass, an instrument that works better for Jazz Fusion than in this more traditional setting. But Willie is the main attraction and the tunes give him more latitude to display his Jazz singing chops.  It's impossible to capture Nelson's phrasing with the written word. He elongates some syllables and syncopates some others which gives his vocal a casual and personal quality. I can just picture him twisting his head a little and singing out of the side of his mouth like he sometimes does.  Angel Eyes isn't a great album but it has its charms and is a breezy listen at only 34 minutes.

The song du jour is the side 2 opener "My Window Faces the South" because it gives Willie the chance to show off his Jazz skills. As a guitarist, he's nowhere near as technically proficient as Jackie King but Willie's solos are more interesting to me. The way he tears at his strings is a stark contrast to the smoothness of the rest of the song.  Nelson's vocals are similarly idiosyncratic; he rarely sings a straight line and the way he emphasizes "dooooown inthe mooouuuth" in the last verse made me smile.  Willie must love this song because he's recorded it on three occasions including a decade ago with son Lukas.  The worst song is a bizarre reading of "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" which alternates tempos between slow and way too fast.

Wednesday is Farmer's Market day so Lou and I went to Civic Center. It's near the part of SF that you hear about on Fox News. There's a large city-operated safe sleeping zone for the homeless across the street and we saw a couple of suspicious looking cash transactions happening as we approached the market.  Lou is totally a pandemic pup--he'd happily spend all day in the house if I let him and he avoids crowds wherever possible. When we get close to the market, he waits patiently for me to take my earbuds out and secure my mask. Then he jumps up so I can catch him and lift him up to my shoulder. He spends his visit to the market being held like a baby with one foreleg slung over my shoulder and the other resting on my chest. He's very content in this position, certainly happier than if he left was on the ground to mingle with the riff-raff.

 
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Songbird (2006)

Willie's 21st century catalog features a lot of collaborations.  Songbird is the album produced by Ryan Adams with backing band The Cardinals.  I had this album on my iPod when it came out but I think I liked it better then than I do now.  Something about the pairing doesn't work.  Don't get me wrong, the Cardinals are a rockin' tight outfit but much of the time Willie's 73 year old pipes are overwhelmed by the racket made by multiple guitars, a pedal steel and a Hammond organ.

The album has its charms. If you ever want to hear what it would be like if Willie fronted the Rolling Stones, the opening track "Rainy Day Blues" comes close.  The two tracks where it's mostly Willie, Trigger, Mickey Raphael's harmonica and a steel guitar are lovely.  But the singer, the band and the song seem disconnected much of the time.  The numbers include covers of Adams, Fleetwood Mac and the Grateful Dead. There's also a cover of Cohen's "Hallelujah" that never soars and an odd minor key arrangement of "Amazing Grace".  The spotlight track though is Willie's cover of Gram Parsons' "$1000 Wedding" that starts off promisingly enough until The Cardinals crash through the studio wall after the first verse. Nelson is more than capable of finding the pathos in Gram's tale but he's unable to reach the emotional depth with the band and backup singers bashing away.

Lou used to be afraid of everything when we first got him. I'm proud of the great strides he's made since then. He's calm and composed most of the time but he's still prone to visible nervousness when he encounters something unexpected.  Usually that's a dog or an object on the path ahead that he can't make out but today it was the fog. We were really socked in this morning; I don't know if it was the lack of visibility, the damp or the barometric pressure but Lou wasn't digging it.  The signal he makes when flustered is to shake his body like he's wet. He was doing that constantly in the fog this morning and when I picked him up his heart was racing.  We came back in after a quick pee and I waited til the fog burned off before our long walk.

The Songbird album cover is an Impressionist painting (or photo) of Willie with long horizontal brushstrokes and his name and album title superimposed in a Helveticaesque font. The artwork is pretty but I can't quite make out what Willie is doing in the picture.  My guess include:  smoking a joint, looking at the sunset, watching a passing boat or shopping for towels.

 
It's a testament to Nelson's persona that I was immediately comfortable with calling him by his first name.  I don't think I referred to Dylan as Bob until well into the Bosley thread.  The Sinatra thread was shorter 😞 but we never were on a first name basis.

 
The signal he makes when flustered is to shake his body like he's wet. He was doing that constantly in the fog this morning and when I picked him up his heart was racing.  We came back in after a quick pee and I waited til the fog burned off before our long walk.
My sister's dog would do this too in certain situations. It's the "shaking off" of stress. I might have to try it myself and see if it helps.

 
My sister's dog would do this too in certain situations. It's the "shaking off" of stress. I might have to try it myself and see if it helps.


I'd probably throw my back out :bag:

When Lou does that shake thing after a loud noise or distant encounter with another dog we stop and I rub his chest a little.  That usually calms him down. 

 
I'd probably throw my back out :bag:

When Lou does that shake thing after a loud noise or distant encounter with another dog we stop and I rub his chest a little.  That usually calms him down. 
I tried it, and it made my bad shoulder hurt.  😟   Little Lou is in good hands with ma and pa. 

 
The Troublemaker (recorded 1973, released 1976)

As I admitted in the OP, I'm not an authority on Willie Nelson but my uneducated opinion going in was that the 70s were his artistic peak. I'll break the seal on that decade with a Gospel album he recorded for Atlantic with legendary producer Arif Mardin behind the board.  Atlantic didn't know what to do with it so the masters sat unreleased until after Nelson moved to Columbia.

It's a Gospel album but it sounds more like a Willie album than a Gospel one.  There's less distance between the religious and secular Nelson than there is with say Elvis or Al Green. The backing band includes some familiar faces like Sister Bobbie and Mickey Raphael along with an interesting guest list including Larry Gatlin, Doug Sahm and Sammi Smith.  Willie's vocals seem more direct than usual with a little less rhythmic personality.  He's joyous on the joyful songs and somber on the sad ones but he never overstates a word. 

The songs are mostly traditional numbers with the notable exception of the title track about a Hippie Jesus. The lyrics are dated and corny but the way Willie sings it you can almost believe he was in the crowd on Calvary when the deal went down.  All the songs are good so it's impossible to choose.  "Uncloudy Day" was a top ten Country hit and "Shall We Gather" sounds like the band is performing at the funeral of the old sheriff in a Western movie. But I'll go with "Where the Soul Never Dies" which features some nifty picking by Gatlin (I think, it doesn't sound like Trigger) and nice counterpoint harmonies from Bobbi and Smith.

The most remarkable thing about Louis (or at least the thing people remark about) is his silence.  He is the quietest dog I've ever met. He was like this when we got him and in the 17 months we've had him, I've only heard him bark about a dozen times while awake.There are plenty of things to bark at in our neighborhood: buses, skateboards, shopping carts, crazy people, et. al. but Lou never barks at them. His barks just sort of randomly appear from nowhere.   It's not much of a bark to be honest, I'd describe them more like a single quiet yap that seemed to surprise him as much as it did us.  He barks more while he's sleeping than when he's awake. His nocturnal utterances are even quieter and are still relatively infrequent. Unconscious Lou barks less than other sleeping dogs I've known.  This is all a long windup to my mentioning that Lou was barking in his sleep last night.  I have no idea why but there certainly are enough reasons.

The Troublemaker's album cover is very basic. There's no indication to potential buyers that they're holding a Gospel record which is probably intentional.  It's a full frame headshot of Willie singing. The photo was presumably during a live show; there's a microphone and he's bathed in an orangey-red stagelight.  Willie is either gazing skyward or he's checking out the album title which is printed in a shadowed 70s looking font.

 
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I saw you walking your dog and listening to Willie Nelson today. By saw, I mean I was on Spotify and saw that you were playing Willie Nelson. For some reason my desktop app has a side scroll showing what people I follow are listening to. I swear,  I am not stalking. 

 
The Troublemaker (recorded 1973, released 1976)

"Uncloudy Day" was a top ten Country hit

He barks more while he's sleeping than when he's awake. His nocturnal utterances are even quieter and are still relatively infrequent. Unconscious Lou barks less than other sleeping dogs I've known.  This is all a long windup to my mentioning that Lou was barking in his sleep last night.  I have no idea why but there certainly are enough reasons.
Ohhhhh, the land of cloudless day
Ohhhhh, the land of an unclouded sky


Willie's version of Uncloudy Day is one of my favorites.

I wonder if Lou was dreaming about the fog he encountered in the morning, and in the dream he was brave, and he barked the fog away. In his dreams he is Lieutenant Lou of the Lower Haight.  

 
Ohhhhh, the land of cloudless day
Ohhhhh, the land of an unclouded sky


Willie's version of Uncloudy Day is one of my favorites.

I wonder if Lou was dreaming about the fog he encountered in the morning, and in the dream he was brave, and he barked the fog away. In his dreams he is Lieutenant Lou of the Lower Haight.  


They say dogs don't have much of a short-term memory but Willie and I are both old potheads so that makes three of us.

 
I saw you walking your dog and listening to Willie Nelson today. By saw, I mean I was on Spotify and saw that you were playing Willie Nelson. For some reason my desktop app has a side scroll showing what people I follow are listening to. I swear,  I am not stalking. 


Mine used to have that but I disabled it because I needed extra column width for something (Classical maybe?) and don't know how to bring it back.

 
Mine used to have that but I disabled it because I needed extra column width for something (Classical maybe?) and don't know how to bring it back.
I've never tried to get rid of it even though it's not really something I am interested in. I just happen to see it because it's there.

 
The Troublemaker (recorded 1973, released 1976)

It's a Gospel album but it sounds more like a Willie album than a Gospel one.  There's less distance between the religious and secular Nelson than there is with say Elvis or Al Green.
Willie could put out a death metal album and it wouldn't sound any different than his others :lol:

As for Elvis and Al Green, I don't see the divide between gospel/secular being as wide as you do.

Green's gospel records sound a lot like his classic secular hits to me. I mean, the arrangements are a little different. But the way he sings is pretty much the same. And it's not hard to imagine "Let's Stay Together" or "I'm Still In Love With You" as Green singing to his Lord. Or how about "Take Me To The River"?

Elvis is, as usual, a little more complicated. Obviously, there's a big difference between "Hound Dog" and "Crying In The Chapel". I think he saw himself as mainly a gospel/spiritual/up-with-people pop singer, especially after about 1965 when his gospel album moved album 10 bazillion units.  

Little Richard, to me, had the widest gap between pop and gospel I've heard from a major star. His gospel records sound like they were sung by someone from a whole different solar system. 

 
Uruk-Hai said:
Willie could put out a death metal album and it wouldn't sound any different than his others :lol:

As for Elvis and Al Green, I don't see the divide between gospel/secular being as wide as you do.

Green's gospel records sound a lot like his classic secular hits to me. I mean, the arrangements are a little different. But the way he sings is pretty much the same. And it's not hard to imagine "Let's Stay Together" or "I'm Still In Love With You" as Green singing to his Lord. Or how about "Take Me To The River"?

Elvis is, as usual, a little more complicated. Obviously, there's a big difference between "Hound Dog" and "Crying In The Chapel". I think he saw himself as mainly a gospel/spiritual/up-with-people pop singer, especially after about 1965 when his gospel album moved album 10 bazillion units.  

Little Richard, to me, had the widest gap between pop and gospel I've heard from a major star. His gospel records sound like they were sung by someone from a whole different solar system. 


Elvis and his producers tended to crank up the Sweet Inspirations and/or Jordanaires when the King sang Gospel. It was a bigger more majestic sound than Willie's typically modest takes on the Lord's music on The Troublemaker.

Rev. Al is a closer call. The church was always in his voice on his big R&B hits but his records after he was born again sound different to me than his more secular records.  Some of that may be due to the absence of Willie Mitchell or industry trends in the 80s;

Agree re: Little Richard

 

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