Music » CD Reviews

Willie Nelson

Songbird (Lost Highway)

by

comment
This doesn't sound like a Willie Nelson record, and it doesn't sound like a Ryan Adams record (though he produced it). Dunno what it sounds like, to be honest, save for some ostentatious mash-up that does less to pump up Shotgun Willie than shoot his legs out from under him. Not that pairing Nelson with Adams -- as producer, performer, and bandleader with his Cardinals -- was a bad idea. Far from it: Nelson, who releases new product every time he buys a dime bag, has proved he's capable of exhaling a masterpiece out of unlikely collaborations (Across the Borderline). And there are some essential moments: Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and Nelson's own "Sad Songs and Waltzes" are among the generous handful. But the fair-to-fine covers are more Adams' than Nelson's -- gee, wonder who the Grateful Dead and Gram Parsons fan is in this partnership. And it shows as Nelson gets tangled in Adams' electrified guitar strings on his way to the worst cover of "Amazing Grace" ever recorded by a guy who shoulda known better.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.