Willie Nelson

The first time I ever had my heart bitch-slapped by a Willie Nelson tune, I was riding in the bed of a pickup truck, drinking an orange soda and crying my eyes out imagining what it must feel like to be a good-hearted woman in love with a good-timin’ man. This, of course, was before riding in truck beds was illegal and before I discovered that I, in fact, am not a good-hearted woman at all. But in spite of that, Nelson has turned me — and millions of others — into a sniveling puddle of heartache countless times during his five-decade career. Willie, man, you’re killing me. The prolific Nelson — the man has released more than 100 albums — offered up three more last year alone: demos from his early-’60s songwriting career on Crazy: The Demo Sessions; duets with Ray Price on Run That By Me One More Time; and It’s Been Rough and Rock Travelin’: The Earliest Willie Nelson 1954-1963, a jumble of Nelson work from the ’50s and ’60s presented on three discs. All bittersweet, funny, beautiful and striking. In other words, pure Willie Nelson.

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