“Last Man Standing” – Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson

“Last Man Standing”

Legacy Recordings

There are certain voices in Americana that just soothe with originality, style and magic. Voices like Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, and Frank Sinatra have this instantaneous way of pulling you back to a timeless place, where the world was sparkling with excitement and promise. Willie Nelson has one of those voices. Within seconds, the listener knows who is singing and is transported to a far off place where life is beautiful.

Willie keeps writing and recording great music and has just released another new album entitled “Last Man Standing”. It’s the title track of the album and is a tongue in cheek reference to his growing old and losing good friends. He addresses the end of life in many of his themes throughout  the album, but does it in a lighthearted way with warmth and care.

He follows it up with an upbeat blues shuffle number called “Don’t Tell Noah”. It’s full of tongue in cheek references to people who speak more than they know. Willie’s strong sense of humor is a common thread in his songwriting, and he is able to put a light touch on any subject.

His run on the comedy tour continues in the next track, “Bad Breath”. It has a strong outlaw country vibe as he jokes “Bad breath is better than no breath at all”. It’s full of one-liners about halitosis – “Don’t get too near me if you don’t want to fall”. Even with his dad-joke sense of humor, he will make it hard for you not to smile.

There are some ballady numbers on here too, as to be expected. “Something You Get Through” is one of them, with light brush work on the drums and Willie’s sentimental crooning about losing people you love: “It’s not something you get over, it’s something you get through”.  “I’ll Try To Do Better Next Time” is another sentimental ballad with a nice touch.

In general though, “Last Man Standing” is upbeat and will put a skip in your step. There’s lots of blues/country shuffle feel throughout the album, the guitar work is nice, and Willie’s special touch colors everything with a sense of the sacred past and warm American culture. There’s a place in my heart for the music and personalities of our roots, and Willie Nelson does a great job of keeping his flame of creativity alive and burning to share his light with the rest of us.

Tom Matthew

Two Ton Music