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Willie Nelson to Update His Classic Hits on New Album ‘Bluegrass’
Country great's 151st album arrives in September and includes "You Left Me a Long, Long Time Ago"
Willie Nelson will reinterpret some of his classic songs with a group of world-class pickers on his new album Bluegrass. The project, which marks the 90-year-old country legend’s 151st (or so) album release, arrives Sept. 15 and is introduced with a new rendition of “You Left Me a Long, Long Time Ago.”
The original version of “You Left Me a Long, Long Time Ago,” from Nelson’s 1972 album The Willie Way, was a full-band production that was steeped in piano and pedal steel, belying its relatively quick tempo. This new version featuring only acoustic instruments, is slower and heavier, with Nelson’s voice occasionally accented by delicate harmonies.
Nelson is joined on Bluegrass by some of the best in the business, including Barry Bales (upright bass), Ron Block (banjo), Aubrey Haynie (fiddle), Rob Ickes (dobro), Josh Martin (acoustic guitar), Mickey Raphael (harmonica), Seth Taylor (mandolin), Bobby Terry (guitar), and Dan Tyminski (mandolin), with backing singers including Wyatt Beard, Buddy Cannon, and Melonie Cannon. The selections are all Nelson compositions, from well-known numbers like “Good Hearted Woman” (which he wrote with Waylon Jennings) and “On the Road Again” to lesser-known gems like 1993’s “Still Is Still Moving to Me” and the 1963 tune “Home Motel.”
Bluegrass is Nelson’s second album of 2023, following I Don’t Know a Thing About Love, which came out in March and paid tribute to the songs of Harlan Howard. Nelson also celebrated his 90th birthday with two-day all-star celebration at the Hollywood Bowl — a film made about those concerts will arrive in June. And in November, Nelson will release his new book Energy Follows Thought: The Stories Behind My Songs, where he unpacks lyrics to 160 of his compositions.
Bluegrass Track List
“No Love Around”
“Somebody Pick Up My Pieces”
“Good Hearted Woman” (co-written with Waylon Jennings)
“Sad Songs and Waltzes”
“You Left Me a Long, Long Time Ago”
“Bloody Mary Morning”
“Slow Down Old World”
“Still Is Still Moving to Me”
“On the Road Again”