Monday, July 11, 2005

"Countryman" Releases Tomorrow

A few more words about Willie Nelson's reggae album from Yahoo!:

Produced by Don Was, who's worked with the Rolling Stones and Bonnie Raitt among others, the album includes reggae versions of Nelson songs such as "Darkness On the Face of the Earth" and "One in a Row." There also are covers of Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come" and "Sitting in Limbo," and a song called "I'm a Worried Man" by Johnny and June Carter Cash that Nelson recorded as a duet with Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals. "When he (Cash) found out I was doing a reggae album, he said, 'Hey, I've got a reggae song that I wrote when I lived there,'" Nelson recalled. "Toots heard it and liked it."

While the music on "Countryman" might raise the eyebrows of country purists, so will the cover. With green marijuana leaves on a red and yellow background, the cover art makes the CD look like an oversized pack of rolling papers. The marijuana imagery reflects Jamaican culture, where the herb is a leading cash crop and part of religious rites, but it also reflects Nelson's fondness for pot smoking.
I love all of this, of course. As you know, it's very Advanced of Willie Nelson to do a reggae album, but it's off-the-charts Advanced for him to do a reggae song written by Johnny Cash.

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