Legacy Recordings will release Let's Face the Music and Dance, a collection of new studio performances by Willie Nelson and Family, on Tuesday, April 16.
The album is the first in a series of releases and events celebrating the artist's 80th birthday year.
A collection of deep pop country repertoire classics performed with transformative patented ease by Willie Nelson and Family, his long-time touring and recording ensemble, Let's Face the Music and Dance was recorded at Pedernales Recording Studio in Austin, Texas, produced by Buddy Cannon and mixed by Butch Carr at Budro Music Repair Shop in Nashville, Tennessee.
Willie's also celebrating more than forty years on the road and in the studio with Family, the band he formed with his sister, Bobbie Nelson (on piano), drummer Paul English and harmonica shaman Mickey Raphael--their name taken from his 1971 studio album Willie Nelson & Family. Rounding out the Family lineup on Let's Face the Music and Dance are Billy English (Paul's brother) on electric gut string and snare drum, Kevin Smith on upright bass and Jim "Moose" Brown on B-3 organ with Willie's son, Micah Nelson, adding percussion on select tracks. Willie Nelson and his guitar, Trigger, appear on all the songs.
2013 is shaping up as a banner year for the pop country patriarch, who turns 80 on April 30. His rollicking memoir, Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die - Musings from the Road, published by HarperCollins in May 2012, is currently a New York Times bestselling non-fiction title and et's Face the Music and Dance is an essential addition to the outlaw country artist's catalog of timeless recordings.
Compiling the repertoire for Let's Face the Music and Dance, Willie chose a range of pop, rock, jazz and country classics drawn from the 1930s ("Let's Face the Music and Dance," "Walking My Baby Back Home"), 1940s ("You'll Never Know," "I Wish I Didn't Love You So," "Shame On You") and 1950s ("Matchbox") covering evergreen songwriters Irving Berlin, Mack Gordon, Carl Perkins, Frank Loesser, Django Reinhardt and Spade Cooley, among others. Willie turns in a beautiful new version of his composition "Is The Better Part Over," a song he introduced on 1989's A Horse Called Music.
Let's Face the Music and Dance is Willie's second release for Legacy Recordings. The first, Heroes was released last May and debuted at #18 on the Billboard 200 best-selling albums chart (Wille's highest number on the chart since Always On My Mind hit #2 in 1982) and wound up spending five consecutive weeks at #1 on the Americana Radio Chart.
Let's Face the Music and Dance Tracklisting:
1. Let's Face the Music and Dance (Irving Berlin, 1935)
2. Is the Better Part Over (Willie Nelson, 1989)
3. You'll Never Know (Mack Gordon, 1943)
4. Vous Et Moi (Claude Francois-Jean Bourtayre)
5. Walking My Baby Back Home (Fred Ahlert-Roy Turk, 1930)
6. Matchbox (Carl Perkins, 1957)
7. Twilight Time (Al Nevins-Morty Nevins)
8. I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Dorothy Fields-Jimmy McHugh)
9. I'll Keep On Loving You (Richard Coburn-Vincent Rose)
10. I Wish I Didn't Love You So (Frank Loesser, 1947)
11. South Of The Border (Jimmy Kennedy-Michael Carr)
12. Nuages (Django Reinhardt)
13. Marie (The Dawn Is Breaking)
14. Shame On You (Spade Cooley, 1944)
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Let's Face the Music and Dance and Heroes marks the first releases in a historic record deal between Willie Nelson and Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, announced in February 2012. The deal marks a label homecoming for Nelson, who, from 1975-1993, cut a phenomenal string of top-selling singles and albums for Columbia Records, beginning with 1975's seminal smash Red Headed Stranger.
"I'm really happy to be back home with Sony Music. We have been partners for many years; all the way back to Pamper Music and Tree Music. We share a great history, and I'm looking forward to many more years together," said Willie Nelson.
Forthcoming Willie Nelson titles under the Legacy imprint will include newly recorded songs and performances as well as archival releases, personally curated by the artist, drawn from all phases of his career including his recordings for RCA Records and others.
As curator of his catalog, Willie will work with label archivists to select recordings, including previously released and previously unreleased tracks, for release in newly compiled collections and as bonus material on new editions of existing titles. The newly curated Willie Nelson titles will provide fresh perspective and context to the artist's profoundly influential and successful career.
photo by David McClister