Country Music (Willie Nelson album)

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Country Music
Studio album by Willie Nelson
Released April 20, 2010
Genre Country, bluegrass
Length 54:47
Label Rounder
Producer T Bone Burnett
Willie Nelson chronology
American Classic
(2009)
Country Music
(2010)
Remember Me, Vol. 1
(2011)

Country Music is a 2010 album by country artist Willie Nelson. The album consists in a compilation of country music standards. Produced by Grammy winning T Bone Burnett, it was released on April 20, 2010 by Rounder Records, and according to Nelson is the first traditional album he has ever recorded. It was his first release in the 2010s.

Recording[edit]

The album consists in a recollection of country music standards, Nelson stated that the album reflects his ideal of country music, featuring mandolins, fiddles and steel guitars and compared the album to his 1978 pop standards success Stardust.[1] Nelson and music producer T Bone Burnett had the idea to record an album together while they were playing a golf game in California. The album was recorded in Nashville, Nelson stated "We venture into all kinds of music but this is country music. No one would argue the fact that these are country songs".[2]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (78/100)[3]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[4]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[5]
The 9513 4/5 stars[6]
PopMatters 9/10 stars[7]

The album reached number four in Billboard's Top Country Albums, number twenty in the Billboard 200[8] and number five in Canadian Top Country Albums. It was nominated for Best Americana Album in the 2011 Grammy Awards.[9]

Billboard described the album as "front-porch, rural and rustic country music".[10] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave the album 3 out of 5 stars, comparing it as lacking in an "immediacy" to his recent works, and stressing a displeasure in the production which "puts a layer of gauze between the listener and the singer."[11] Juli Thanki of The 9513 gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, complimenting the musical arrangements and song choices. However, she commented that Nelson's vocal performances were inconsistent on a few of the tracks, namely "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down" and "Dark as a Dungeon."[12]

Slant Magazine rated the article with four stars out of five. Critic Jonathan Keefe wrote: "the spectacular collection of songs as much as Burnett's ace production and Nelson's first-rate performances that elevates Country Music above the recent spate of country covers records and makes the album an essential addition to Nelson's rich catalogue".[13]

BBC music acclaimed Nelson's voice and performance of traditional country covers: "It’s a long way from Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, On the Road Again and Crazy, and has none of the sparing tension of his finest works like Red Headed Stranger. But the great news is that his greatest asset – that wonderfully persuasive and uniquely distinctive voice – remains perfectly intact, and that alone is cause enough to make it an album to be cherished. [...] Nelson delivers hardy material like traditional Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down and I Am a Pilgrim with such wizened assurance, it’s impossible not to feel the love".[14]

The Washington Post described Country Music as "a calm, contemplative and remarkably consistent album", praising specially the performance of "Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down": "[...] while Nelson's voice remains front and center throughout, Burnett's fingerprints are all over "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down." It's a traditional hymn that nudges Nelson out of his easy-breezy comfort zone, placing those warm, generous pipes in an eerie new context. The musicians barely touch their instruments as they creep along to the song's phantom pulse".[15]

PopMatters wrote: "One virtue shared by both Burnett, the producer, and Nelson, the performer, is an unerring trust that the song itself is up to the task. Both stand amongst American music’s most incisive students of song. That expertise reveals itself in both the selection and handling of each track on Country Music. [...] it takes someone like T Bone Burnett to remind us that there’s no one like Willie Nelson".[16]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Man with the Blues"   Nelson 2:21
2. "Seaman's Blues"   Billy Talmadge, Ernest Tubb 3:22
3. "Dark as a Dungeon"   Merle Travis 4:49
4. "Gotta Walk Alone"   Weldon Allard, John Hathcock 2:13
5. "Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down"   Traditional 3:19
6. "My Baby's Gone"   Hazel Houser 5:05
7. "Freight Train Boogie"   Jim Scott/Robert Nabor
Credited in the liner notes to Doc Watson
2:39
8. "Satisfied Mind"   Joe "Red" Hayes, Jack Rhodes 3:52
9. "You Done Me Wrong"   George Jones, Ray Price 3:12
10. "Pistol Packin' Mama"   Al Dexter 2:36
11. "Ocean of Diamonds"   Cliff Carnahan 3:36
12. "Drinking Champagne"   Bill Mack Smith 3:42
13. "I Am a Pilgrim"   Traditional 4:52
14. "House of Gold"   Hank Williams 4:43
15. "Nobody's Fault but Mine"   Traditional 4:26
Total length:
54:47

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Country Music debuted at #4 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart and at #20 on the U.S. Billboard 200. As of May 19, 2010, the album has sold 45,348 copies.[17]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 4
U.S. Billboard 200 20
Swedish Albums Chart 41

End of year charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Year-end
2010
US Billboard Top Country Albums 66[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CMT Insider Interview: Willie Nelson". CMT. MTV Networks. April 23, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2011. 
  2. ^ Evans-Price, Deborah (April 21, 2010). "Willie Nelson Delivers True 'Country Music'". The Boot. AOL Inc. Retrieved May 22, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Country Music". MetaCritic. Retrieved September 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ Allmusic review
  5. ^ Slant Magazine review
  6. ^ The 9513 review
  7. ^ PopMatters review
  8. ^ Hall, Tara (July 13, 2010). "Willie Nelson pushes "Country Music" nationwide". Sound Spike. MTV Networks. Retrieved May 22, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Last.fm Trends: Willie Nelson’s On Grammy Road Again". Last.fm (CBS). February 3, 2011. Retrieved May 22, 2011. 
  10. ^ Graff, Gary (April 30, 2010). "Willie Nelson, "Country Music"". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved May 22, 2011. 
  11. ^ Thomas, Stephen (2010-04-20). "((( Country Music > Overview )))". allmusic. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  12. ^ "Album Review: Willie Nelson – Country Music". 9513 Country Music. The 9513. May 28, 2010. Retrieved September 6, 2010. 
  13. ^ Keefe, Jonathan (April 19, 2010). "Willie Nelson Country Music". Slant Magazine (Slant Magazine). Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  14. ^ Irwin, Colin (April 28, 2010). "So assured is Nelson that it’s impossible not to feel the love.". BBC Music. Retrieved May 22, 2011. 
  15. ^ Richards, Chris (April 20, 2010). "Album reviews: Willie Nelson, "Country Music" and Merle Haggard, "I Am What I Am"". Click Track (The Washington Post). Retrieved May 22, 2011. 
  16. ^ Child, Ben (April 23, 2010). "Willie Nelson: Country Music". PopMatters.com. PopMatters. Retrieved May 22, 2011. 
  17. ^ NAME:. "Lady Antebellum Leads SoundScan Charts Again | New Country Music, Listen to Songs & Video". Roughstock.com. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  18. ^ "Best of 2010 - Top Country Albums". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 

External links[edit]