Willie Nelson: Moment of Forever

Lost Highway
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  February 26, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
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The legendary old-school songwriter’s best album in a decade is produced by new-school country pop star Kenny Chesney — and they sing like genuine compadres on “Worry B Gone,” a drinkin’ duet in the grand honky-tonk tradition. But where their collaboration really pays off is in the roster of tunes by other writers, among them Nelson’s bitter interpretation of Dave Matthews’s anti-war yarn “Gravedigger” and a version of Randy Newman’s moving “Louisiana 1927” updated as a scathing critique of the government’s Katrina response. Even the willfully goofy pirate’s tale “The Bob Song” — via Big Kenny of Big & Rich — comes off as political for its “live and let live” message. Chesney also brings some new sounds to Nelson’s game: the atmospheric delay-tweaked guitars of the heartbreaker “Over You Again,” the spooky percussion effects and feedback-like tuba on “The Bob Song,” the R&B big-band arrangement of Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody.” Nelson turns 75 in April, but this disc sounds fresh and timeless next to other recent albums from Nashville’s Music Row.
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