[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Willie Nelson[/lastfm]’s latest release Remember Me, Vol 1 mixes Willie’s traditional sound with heartfelt classic country songs. Covering 14 of the biggest hits on the charts from 1946-1989, this album introduces an older country genre to the new generation. With volume 2 slated to be released next year, the first round of classic covers appeases any country fan both young and old.
When it comes to country music, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Willie Nelson[/lastfm] is a veteran. With over 50 years of experience under his belt, no one could pull off such a feat better than Shotgun Willie himself. From Johnny Cash to Merle Haggard and everyone in between, tons of artists got the Nelson touch in “Remember Me, Vol 1“.
The opening title track Remember Me, originally performed by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ernest Tubb[/lastfm] in 1950, starts off the cover album with an uplifting country message, “remember me I’m the one who loves you.” Mixed with a hearty violin intermission and a splash of accordion, it’s impossible not to be instantly engrossed in what’s to come.
Sixteen Tons, by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Tennessee Ernie Ford[/lastfm] in 1955, is a complete 180 from the uplifting, musical opening speaking of the rough times in the workplace. With a simple bass line consisting of finger snaps and the fine tunings of an upright bass, it’s easy to see why it topped the country and pop charts back in the ’50s.
Why Baby Why was [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]George Jones[/lastfm]’ first charted single in 1955 and has been covered by[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Charley Pride[/lastfm] and other big names in music ever since. Willie’s rough vocal stylings and the expert Nashville musicians on the track add a unique flair to the classic.
With so many [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Merle Haggard[/lastfm] possibilities, it’s surprising to hear the ballad Today I Started Loving You Again. Hearing an underrated Merle classic is a breath of fresh air to any country fan. The heartbreaking country streak continues with I’m Moving On and That Just About Does It, two hits decades apart but both speaking to the deep sadness of true love’s upsets.
In a quick turn, This Old House, made famous by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Rosemary Clooney[/lastfm] in 1954, is an upbeat, high tempo country song that showcases the expert ability of famous Nashville musician Mickey Raphael on harmonica and John Hobbs on piano. Willie Nelson was only 14 when Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette topped the charts combining swing music, an high energy drum line and catchy novelty lyrics.
It’s no surprise Willie Nelson decided to tackle Slowly by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Webb Pierce[/lastfm] next since it single handedly changed the history of country music. It was the first song ever to feature a pedal steel guitar, introducing the famous pitch shifting sound in the song. Willie embraced that history, emphasizing the steel guitar in this 2011 version of the track.
Just as Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette featured a bit of humor, the next hit — the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bob Wills[/lastfm] classic Roly Poly – can’t help but make anyone laugh. The entire premise of the track refers to a boy who continuously eats to gain strength: Roly Poly / Eatin’ corn and taters / Hungry every minute of the day / Roly Poly / Gnawin’ on a biscuit / As long as he can chew it it’s okay.
Ending the first volume of epic [mp3com-artist]Willie Nelson[/mp3com-artist] covers is a track from [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Merle Haggard[/lastfm] called Ramblin’ Fever that topped the country charts in 1977. It combines an old country sound, complete with steel guitar, with a modern day rock bass line that overpowers the entire song as the track fades out into its finish.
Remember Me, Vol 1 is the perfect mix of country hits, making every country fan ask the same question: When can we have Volume 2?
1. Remember Me (Ernest Tubb, 1950, No. 5 Country)
2. Sixteen Tons (Tennessee Ernie Ford, 1955, No. 1 Country & Pop)
3. Why Baby Why (George Jones, 1955, No. 4 Country)
4. Today I Started Loving You Again (Merle Haggard, 1970)
5. I’m Movin’ On (Hank Snow, 1950, No. 1 Country)
6. That Just About Does It (Vern Gosdin, 1989, No. 4 Country)
7. This Old House (Rosemary Clooney, 1954, No. 1 Pop)
8. Sunday Morning Coming Down (Johnny Cash, 1970, No. 1 Country)
9. Smoke That Cigarette (Tex Williams, 1947, No. 1 Country)
10. Slowly (Webb Pierce, 1954, No. 1 Country)
11. A Satisfied Mind (Porter Wagoner, 1955, No. 1 Country)
12. Roly Poly (Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, 1946, No. 3 Country)
13. Release Me (Ray Price, 1954, No. 6 Country)
14. Ramblin’ Fever (Merle Haggard, 1977, No. 2 Country)
15. More And More (Webb Pierce, 1954, No. 1 Country) iTunes exclusive