Everything We Know About Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson’s ‘Django and Jimmie’
Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard's Django and Jimmie is one of the most-anticipated albums coming in June 2015. Music from one country legend is great, but a collaboration between two? Even more exciting.
With songs like "It's All Going to Pot," "Unfair Weather Friend" and "The Only Man Wilder Than Me," Haggard and Nelson are once again proving that they're great musicians who are, at the heart, outlaw artists, good friends and willing to take a stand for what they believe in (i.e., marijuana).
The Boot has rounded up everything we know thus far about the project, which the pair believes is the best thing they've ever done. Featuring brand-new songs, guest vocalists and even some covers, Django and Jimmie is ready to pour into the living rooms, cars and work stations of country fans who just can't get enough of two of country's biggest stars.
The album Django and Jimmie takes its name from one of the project's tracks.
As Nelson says, the album's name is nostalgic for both him and Haggard. Reinhardt is Nelson’s favorite guitar player, and his trusty guitar Trigger has a Django-like tone. Haggard, meanwhile, released Same Train, A Different Time -- a Jimmie Rodgers tribute album -- in 1969.
So there you have it: Separate influences of separate artists converged into one killer collaboration.
The Release Date
Django and Jimmie is set for release on June 2, 2015.
The first single from Nelson and Haggard is “It’s All Going to Pot,” which they officially released, fittingly, on April 20, along with a music video that shows them singing, playing guitar, smoking pot and simply having fun together.
Before the song's release, Nelson appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live in late March and sang a few of the tune's lyrics for the attentive audience: “It’s all going to pot / Whether we like it or not / As far as I can tell / The world’s gone to hell / And we’re sure gonna miss it a lot.”
Other lyrics include, “All the whiskey in Lynchburg, Tenn. / Just couldn’t hit the spot / I’ve got a hundred dollar bill / You can keep your pills / ‘Cause it’s all going to pot."
According to Haggard, the new record boasts “new songs, a couple of classics, and Willie sang like he was a teenager.” Eight of the album’s 14 tracks were co-written by either Haggard or Nelson.
The pair recently released a second single, "Unfair Weather Friend," which sentimentally pays homage to their friendship, which has spanned decades. During the song, Haggard and Nelson trade vocals on lines like, “I don’t have to wonder where you’ll be if I should need you / All I have to do is close my eyes, and I can see / You’re always there, right where you’ve always been / Sometimes this old world is my worst enemy / But I know where to run when it gets to me / No one else but you can make it all make sense / My come whatever unfair weather friend.”
Another track on the album, "The Only Man Wilder Than Me," was written by Haggard, but Nelson jokes, "I told him to; I said, 'Write one about us.'"
Haggard adds with a laugh, "I think we're probably the smartest man I've ever seen together."
Haggard and Nelson sing together on the "He's the only man wilder than me" parts and then trade off lines in between: "He's the only man wilder than me / He's the only man wilder than me / Some call me a sinner / I'd call him a winner / And he's the only man wilder than me."
That's one of the greatest songs we've ever cut," Haggard says, laughing.
Also included in the track listing is “Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash,” a homage to the Man in Black that features guest vocals from Bobby Bare, and an interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright." Additionally, Nelson covers Haggard's "Somewhere Between," while Haggard sings Nelson's classic "Family Bible."
Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, Django and Jimmie Track Listing:
1. “Django and Jimmie”
2. “It’s All Going to Pot”
3. “Unfair Weather Friend”
4. “Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash”
5. “Live This Long”
6. “Alice in Hulaland”
7. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”
8. “Family Bible”
9. “It’s Only Money”
10. “Swinging Doors”
11. “Where Dreams Come to Die”
12. “Somewhere Between”
13. “Driving the Herd”
14. “The Only Man Wilder Than Me”
The Record Label
Django and Jimmie is Nelson’s sixth studio album for Legacy since signing a deal with the label in 2012.
Amount of Time Since Last Record
This record is Nelson and Haggard's follow-up to 1983′s Pancho & Lefty. That project topped the Billboard country charts for seven non-consecutive weeks between April and October of the release year and included the No. 1 title track, written by Townes Van Zandt. The men followed that album with Seashores of Old Mexico in 1987 and a 2007 record with Ray Price, Last of the Breed.
Since then, the two outlaw singers have wanted to record together for quite a while.
“It’s really good; I think it’s the best one we’ve done,” says Haggard. “We didn’t really do any swing, per se, we just did straight-ahead songs that we felt good about.”
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