Willie Nelson - Honeysuckle Rose
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Honeysuckle Rose (Columbia, 2003)

Willie Nelson

Reviewed by Rick Bell

In fact, the only reason worth sitting through this flick about cheating, drinking and partying was the soundtrack. This re-release of Willie Nelson's soundtrack to his painful debut as a leading man makes up for most of the movie's flaws, except for maybe the scene where Willie and Slim Pickens decide to drive a bus back from Mexico while absolutely stinkin' drunk on tequila. Now that's country. All right, maybe that's stupid. But we're dealing with Hollywood here.

Still, the soundtrack holds up quite well. Dyan Cannon's vocal contribution is much easier to skip past now that the album is on CD, yet Emmylou Harris sounds even better with her two cuts.

Perhaps lost in all the re-release hoopla is the fact Willie carried two drummers - Paul English and Rex Ludwig - and two bassists - Bee Spears and Chris Etheridge. Not surprisingly, many of these live songs absolutely kick ass. Longtime sideman Jody Payne's version of "Workin' Man's Blues" is absolutely intense, while "Whiskey River" and "Bloody Mary Morning," which bookend the instrumental version of "Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line," showcase Willie at his in-concert best. Bad movie, great soundtrack. Not the first time, and it certainly won't be the last.

CDs by Willie Nelson

The Border, 2024 Bluegrass, 2023 Don't Know A Thing About Love, 2023 A Beautiful Time, 2022 That's Life, 2021 First Rose of Spring, 2020 Ride Me Back Home, 2019 My Way, 2018 Last Man Standing, 2018 Willie's Stash Volume 2, 2017 God's Problem Child, 2017 Summertime Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, 2016 Band of Brothers, 2014 To All the Girls..., 2013 Let's Face the Music and Dance, 2013 Freedom, 2012 Remember Me Vol. 1, 2011 Country Music, 2010 American Classic, 2009 Lost Highway, 2009 Naked Willie, 2009 One Hell of a Ride, 2008 Moment of Forever, 2008 Songbird, 2006 Live From Austin, TX, 2006 Songs of Cindy Walker, 2006 You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker, 2006

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