Willie Nelson Plans New Album ‘Ride Me Back Home,’ Shares Title Track [LISTEN]
Less than a year after the release of his last record, country legend Willie Nelson is ready to share more new music. The 85-year-old singer has announced the track listing and title for his new record, along with the album's title track.
Nelson's forthcoming album, entitled Ride Me Back Home, is slated for release on June 21 via Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. The title track was written by Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member Sonny Throckmorton, his daughter, Debby Throckmorton, Joe Manuel and Lucinda Hinton. "Ride Me Back Home" is a soaring story-song that was inspired by the dozens of rescue horses that roam freely across Nelson's ranch in Luck, Texas.
During an invite-only listening party in Nashville earlier this week, producer Buddy Cannon gave press a preview of the record and reminisced about the last decade he's spent working alongside Nelson crafting his new music. Cannon revealed that although they work closely alongside each other in the studio, they co-write their songs completely over text messages.
"We've written 50 songs that way. We've never sat down with a guitar [to write]," he explained. "We're afraid it might not work."
The record also features a reimagined version of "Immigrant Eyes," which was originally co-written by Guy Clark and Roger Murrah over 30 years ago. During the Nashville listening party, Murrah stressed the importance of Nelson's choice to record the track in today's political climate.
"I have so much empathy for the immigrants in our country and how they've been treated," Murrah said. "I told Buddy [Cannon], if Willie sings these words, it will be like an ointment to this nation and a relief to the immigrants who have been mistreated. It expresses the way Guy and I felt about that subject, and obviously the way Willie feels about it or he would never have sung it. I think it's going to be heartwarming to a lot of people."
Nelson's sons Micah and Lukas are also featured on a cover of Mac Davis's 1980 hit "It's Hard To Be Humble," which they recently performed together at this year's Luck Reunion. The track "My Favorite Picture of You," penned by Guy Clark and Gordie Sampson, was inspired by a haunting photo of Clark's wife, Suzanna, that was taken while she was on the brink of leaving their relationship. The album also includes Nelson's groovy take on Billy Joel's 1977 Grammy Award-winning single "Just The Way You Are."
Ride Me Back Home is set to complete a trilogy of Buddy Cannon-produced Nelson albums focused on mortality. The trio began with the release of 2017's God's Problem Child and continued with 2018's Last Man Standing.
Willie Nelson, Ride Me Back Home Track Listing:
1. "Ride Me Back Home"
2. "Come on Time"
3. "My Favorite Picture of You"
4. "Seven Year Itch"
5. "Immigrant Eyes"
6. "Stay Away From Lonely Places"
7. "Just the Way You Are"
8. "One More Song to Write"
9. "Nobody's Listening'
10. "It's Hard to Be Humble" (with Lukas Nelson and Micah Nelson)
11. "Maybe I Should've Been Listening"
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