Willie Nelson, ‘Heroes’ Features Sons, Haggard, Snoop Dogg
Willie Nelson has gathered family and friends for his latest album ‘Heroes,’ a collection of new tunes and re-imagined classics due out May 15. The disc will be the legendary outlaw’s first release under his new deal with Sony Music’s Legacy label.
‘Heroes,’ produced by Buddy Cannon and recorded in Austin and Nashville, features a diverse group of pop-country tunes, including covers from the ’30s and ’40s, along with new songs by Willie and by his sons, Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson.
Willie is joined by Merle Haggard on a ‘A Horse Called Music’ (the title track from Willie’s 1989 album), and ‘Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die’ features special guests Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson and Snoop Dogg. Jamey Johnson also contributes — along with Billy Joe Shaver – to ‘Hero,’ while ‘Come on Back, Jesus,’ co-written with Buddy Cannon and Micah Nelson, features sons Micah and Lukas.
In addition to interpretations of songs by Coldplay (‘The Scientist’) and Pearl Jam (‘Just Breathe’), Wille reaches back to the 1930s for the ballad, ‘My Window Faces the South.’ He also tackles fresh interpretations of Fred Rose’s ‘Home in San Antone,’ from 1943, and 1949′s ‘Cold War With You,’ with guest artist Ray Price, whose version of Willie’s ‘Night Life’ became a smash hit in 1960. Willie was a member of Ray’s band, the Cherokee Cowboys, at a time during which he wrote a number of huge hits for other acts.
Other tracks on the new album include ‘That’s All There Is to This Song,’ newly-penned by Buddy Cannon, and three tunes written by Lukas Nelson: ‘No Place to Fly,’ ‘Every Time He Drinks He Thinks of Her’ and ‘The Sound of Your Memory’ (co-written with Elizabeth Rainey). Lukas also performs with his iconic dad on several of the tracks, including ‘Come On Up to the House,’ written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan and sung with Sheryl Crow.
Willie and his ever-present guitar, Trigger, are joined by the Roll Me Up Band featuring Kevin ‘Swine’ Grantt (bass), Bobby Terry (electric guitar, acoustic guitar), Jim ‘Moose’ Brown (piano, Wurlitzer, B-3 organ), Mike Johnson (steel guitar), Tony Creasman (drums), Mickey Raphael (harmonica) and Lukas Nelson (electric guitar).
Additional musicians on the record, which signals a homecoming to Legacy Recordings, Willie’s label home from 1975-1993, include Butch Carr (synthesizer), Steve Brewster (drums) and producer Buddy Cannon (bass, acoustic guitar). Melonie Cannon, Buddy Cannon, Lance Miller and Kris Kristofferson all contribute background vocals.
“I’m really happy to be back home with Sony Music,” notes the seven-time Grammy winner. “We have been partners for many years; all the way back to Pamper Music and Tree Music. We share a great history, and I’m looking forward to many more years together.”
Willie Nelson, ‘Heroes’ track listing:
1. ‘A Horse Called Music’
2. ‘Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die’
3. ‘That’s All There Is to This Song’
4. ‘No Place To Fly’
5. ‘Every Time He Drinks, He Thinks of Her’
6. ‘Come on Up to The House’
8. ‘My Window Faces the South’
9. ‘The Sound of Your Memory’
10. ‘Cold War With You’
11. ‘Just Breathe’
12. ‘My Home in San Antone’
13. ‘Come on Back, Jesus’
14. ‘The Scientist’