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Great Off-Season Performances: Oh, Willie

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And off we go, deep into the heart of Texas

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Jamie Squire

This was supposed to go up yesterday on Willie's 80th birthday. Willie has slowed down quite a bit over the last few years. His last album (I haven't heard the new one yet) leaned heavily on duets and even his solo runs on Trigger are to the point where you wonder if there is an autopilot on that damn thing.

If you've never listened to the man before, it's probably pretty easy to write him off as a dopey dopehead who plays cheesy concerts in front of a gigantic Texas flag. Don't sell yourself short by not digging into the greatest 3-album run in country music history (highlighted by this timeless classic), stunning tribute albums to the songwriting heroes of his younger days, his early demos (the man wrote American songbook standards like Crazy, Opportunity to Cry, and Darkness on the Face of the Earth, for crissakes), or his amazing array of duets with the biggest names of 20th century American pop music. Miles even cut a song called Willie Nelson.

Anywho, take one for the road.

(BTW: We need to get around to George Jones, don't we. Here's George rocking the best voice in country music history at Willie's Farm Aid. Try not to pay attention to DAC f'ing up the chorus.)