Willie Nelson

Willie and Family Live

To help celebrate the legendary country artist’s 70th birthday, Columbia Legacy has remastered this classic two-disc set of Willie and his band caught at the height of their powers in 1978 at Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe. With two drummers, two bassists, Nelson’s sister Bobbie on exquisite boogie-woogie piano, Nelson and Jody Payne on guitars and Mickey Raphael blowing harp, the band captures every nuance of Nelson’s intricate arrangements and rocks out in honky-tonk grandeur at the drop of a hat (or bandana). From the loose-limbed country rock of “Whiskey River” and the pensive, jazz-tinged “Crazy” to the melancholy beauty of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia on My Mind” and the double-time boogie of “Bloody Mary Morning,” Nelson’s unique Texas tenor is in fine form, especially when complemented by the harmony singing of Emmylou Harris on “Till I Gain Control Again.” Quintessential and highly recommended for fans of genuine songcraft.