What's the best Willie Nelson song

Concert review : Willie Nelson: How time flies

A huge flag of the state of Texas hangs on the back wall. He grew up in Texas and then went back to Texas after turning his back on Nashville, Tennessee, and his local record company RCA, which gave him the typical sterile Nashville style for his recordings. Wanted to impose a country sound.

"Whiskey River", the first song of the evening, comes from the album "Shotgun Willie" (1973), the first that he recorded for the Atlantic company with greater artistic freedom and which established his reputation as a "country outlaw". Even then he was accompanied by his older sister Bobbie on the piano, the bassist Dan Spears and the drummer Paul English, who still belong to the Willie Nelsons "Family" band. Bobbie pats nimble honky tonk figures and Nelson's old friend Paul apparently only operates a snare, very skillfully, without cymbals, without anything, while his brother Billy shakes and knocks various percussion instruments. Mickey Raphael blows a varied harmonica that screeches, howls and cries - and occasionally sounds like a Tex-Mex accordion. Nelson conjures up the guitar parts effortlessly in a casual, improvised manner on his battered, legendary 1969 Martin N-20 nylon-string acoustic guitar "Trigger". Very imaginative and versatile, from Mexican chord progressions to tricky jazz scales to down-to-earth blues.

There is no set list, Nelson sings and plays whatever he likes, and draws from an enormous pool. "Funny How Time Slips Away" flows seamlessly into "Crazy", which he once wrote for Patsy Cline, a big hit in 1961. Nelson sings "Nightlife ain't no good life, but it's my life" with his unmistakable nasal baritone and plays an intoxicating blues solo on guitar. Texas swing and soul, "Georgia On My Mind" by Ray Charles. Inspired, he interprets the old Elvis hit "You Were Always On My Mind" and honors the great Hank Williams with fast-paced versions of "Jambalaya", "Hey Good Looking" and "Movin 'On Over". The band follows him like a dream, wherever he is drawn. Piano solo, harmonica solo and again Willie on guitar. Everything is getting better, more well-rehearsed, more moving, more thrilling. After 34 intoxicating songs, "The Party's Over" and "I Saw The Light" standing ovations and thunderous cheers for a really great musician who shone and enchanted with sincerity and deep soul.

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