Willie Nelson ‘To All the Girls ...' (Legacy Recordings)
Willie Nelson boldly takes the old adage “Behind every great man is a great woman” to lofty musical heights with his new duets collection “To All the Girls ...,” the ever-prolific country outlaw's third album in the past 16 months.
The Country Music Hall of Famer, 80, partners with an impressive roster of celebrated songstresses, including Loretta Lynn, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Norah Jones and Alison Krauss, to revisit a wide array of country, pop and gospel classics, including several of his own treasured chestnuts.
The wily Texan isn't afraid to match his distinctive nasal baritone with some of modern music's most angelic voices, and the contrast between his gravelly drawl and Checotah native Carrie Underwood's crystalline coo makes their new version of his Grammy-winning hit “Always on My Mind” worth hearing. Not every pairing on the 18-track effort yields satisfying results, but the album consistently intrigues the ear.
Nelson teams with Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert to croon Waylon Jennings' “She Was No Good for Me,” mellows out with Paula Nelson on a twangy cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” and deftly waltzes with Rosanne Cash through an emotional reading of Kris Kristofferson's “Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends.”