One Hell of a Ride

WNelson_HellofaRide.jpg

There have been many Willie Nelsons through the years: the buttoned-down Nashville crooner, the longhaired Texas rebel, the pop-standards revisionist, the old-school traditionalist, the gospel revivalist, the duet king, the Highwayman, and most recently the genre-hopping musical adventurer. They’re all present on the four-CD One Hell of a Ride, which gathers 100 tracks from throughout Willie’s storied career in early celebration of his 75th birthday on April 30.

Even with such a wide scope, Ride falls short of being definitive. Some big hits are missing, and it dwells too long on Willie’s 1960s output, when he was attempting to fit into a slick countrypolitan sound that didn’t suit him (for instance, 1975’s landmark The Red Headed Stranger is represented by only one track, while 1969’s little-remembered Both Sides Now gets four).

But perhaps definitiveness is beside the point. There’s a wealth of inarguably wonderful music here, and One Hell of a Ride is a helpful reminder that the many Willie Nelsons we’ve known are all contained in one authentic American treasure.

Comments

Recent Music Posts More

More News

Other performers include Rodney Crowell, Patty Griffin and Jason Isbell.
The singer performed before an intimate crowd as part of the Hear the Music, See the World series.
Keith hosts a party with the song's writers and also performs.