The Year of Willie
Willie Nelson - Honeysuckle Rose
Part Four of Eight
First Appeared at The Music Box, November 2003, Volume 10, #11
Written by John Metzger
After conquering the country music world, Willie Nelson set his eye on acting, first appearing with Robert Redford in The Electric Horseman, and then getting his own lead in Honeysuckle Rose. The movie wasnít much to talk about ó Nelson predictably played a country singer in an even more predictable plot about love and infidelity ó and the soundtrack largely revisited songs that he had previously recorded, this time placing them within the context of a concert. What was most notable about the album is that it marked the debut of On the Road Again, one of his biggest selling singles. The rest simply made for an enjoyable, if redundant and sometimes perfunctory, listen.
Nelson cruised through set staples Whiskey River and Bloody Mary Morning as well as touching renditions of Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain and Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground, but superior renditions had already appeared on his other outings. Whatís more, mixed between Nelsonís songs were other distractions and curiosities. Some ó such as Johnny Gimbleís fiddle romp Jumpiní Cotton Eyed Joe and Jody Payneís rousing blast through Merle Haggardís Working Man Blues ó fared well enough, others ó such as Nelsonís duet with actress Dyan Cannon on Loving You Was Easier (Than Anything Iíll Ever Do Again) and Hank Cochranís cursory I Donít Do Windows ó less so, and all the intrusions tended to interrupt the albumís overall flow. In his lengthy career, Nelson had outings that were far less pleasurable, but that still doesnít make Honeysuckle Rose any more essential. The reissue adds a pair of previously unreleased songs from the recording sessions: Yesterdayís Wine and Good Hearted Woman while restoring Amy Irvingís take on If You Want Me to Love You I Will, which was omitted from the original CD.
Of Further Interest...
Part One: To Lefty from Willie
Part Two: Willie and Family Live
Part Three: San Antonio Rose
Part Six: Always on My Mind
Part Seven: Pancho & Lefty
Part Eight: Tougher than Leather
Honeysuckle Rose is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box