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Countryman [Digipack]


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Audio CD, July 12, 2005
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Do You Mind Too Much If I Don't Understand 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. How Long Is Forever 3:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. I'm A Worried Man [feat. Toots Hibbert] 2:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Harder They Come 3:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Something To Think About 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Sitting In Limbo 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Darkness On The Face Of The Earth 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. One In A Row 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. I've Just Destroyed The World 2:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. You Left Me A Long, Long Time Ago 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. I Guess I've Come To Live Here 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Undo The Right 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Born April 30, 1933, the iconic Texas singer-songwriter Willie Nelson has earned a permanent position in pop music's pantheon with unforgettable songs that combine the sophistication of Tin Pan Alley with the rough-and-tumble grit and emotional honesty of country music. His six-decade-spanning catalog includes more than 60 studio albums in addition to live recordings, soundtracks, ... Read more in Amazon's Willie Nelson Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 12, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • ASIN: B0009ML1Q6
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,086 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After nearly a decade of gestation, Willie Nelson's long-lost first reggae set is at last complete. The seed of this project took root in late 1995, sprung from the mind of famed producer Don Was. Countryman is Willie's impassioned tribute to the upstroke sound of Jamaica, an Ire voyage to the land of dub and dreadlocks. Willie takes a handful of his own classics and filters them through a reggae prism, peppering them with his nylon acoustic guitar, pedal steel, dobro, harmonica and the familiar comforts of country, while bringing drums and bass to the forefront, yard style. Willie also tackles a couple of reggae classics from the acclaimed Jamaican film soundtrack The Harder They Come, including the title track and 'Sitting in Limbo'. Reggae star Toots Hibbert also guests on the Johnny Cash cover 'I'm A Worried Man'. In short, after a decade long journey, Willie's Jamaican vision at last sees the bright light of day. If last year's collaboration with Toots Hibbert on Toot's True Love album ('Still Is Still Movin' To Me') is any indication, we are in for a treat. Lost Highway. 2005.

Amazon.com

What's stranger: Willie Nelson singing lilting reggae melodies, or a Jamaican chestnut like "The Harder They Fall" set to an acoustic country arrangement, complete with Dobro? Given Nelson's well-publicized taste for ganja, it's not surprising he's also fond of the island's major musical export. The genre-straddling Countryman, replete with dub effects, skanking beats, ringing steel guitars, and Nelson's signature nylon-string picking, doesn't measure up to his earlier, artful Lost Highway releases. It's easy to understand why this project was shelved by Nelson's previous label for nine years. There are no musical sparks, and the buoyant rhythms trivialize the strong lyrics of Nelson classics like "Darkness on the Face of the Earth." But his voice is still mellow gold, and there are tunes--like his duet with reggae/R&B singer Toots Hibbert on Johnny Cash's "I'm a Worried Man" and his own somber reading of Jimmy Cliff's "Sitting in Limbo"--that tap into the souls of desperate men to extol the power of faith over adversity. Nonetheless, this one's for hardcore fans and completists only. --Ted Drozdowski

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By DanD VINE VOICE on July 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
10 years. That's a long time, you know. A decade. Of course, for an artist as prolific as Willie Nelson, 10 year is nothing. But for those of us who've been dying to hear him sing reggae, it's an eternity. Well, COUNTRYMAN is here, and it's a blast!

The thing is, this doesn't sound at all awkward. It's Willie Nelson--the man who, when he puts his heart and soul into it (as he's done here) can sing anything he darn-well pleases. It also helps that he penned most of these songs, many of which have become country classics. And those he didn't write (the two Jimmy Cliff numbers--"The Harder They Come" and "Sitting in Limbo"--and Johnny Cash's "I'm A Worried Man") come out sounding naturally; hell, the two Cliff songs rank with some of Willie's best recordings. And while, yes, the production does occasionally take away from the impact of his lyrics, it should be expected: Willie Nelson is a man who does what he wants, and often that includes employing contradictions. But all towards a noteworthy end--great music!

So, in summary, COUNTRYMAN is an album that may not be worth a ten-year wait, but since it has finally come out, there's no reason not to give it a listen. You'll enjoy it. Even fans of Willie's hardcore material should enjoy it...after all, it's only a small step away from the bravado and musical genius of RED-HEADED STRANGER. You remember that one, don't you? Made a superstar out of this short, red-headed singer/songwriter. And though Willie Nelson has aged, it's been like a fine wine: the more time passes, the more you enjoy the outcome. COUNTRYMAN is simply a great album, and destined to be a classic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Don Charlie on November 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Full disclosure: My knowledge of reggae stops just beyond Bob Marley and UB40.

My knowledge of Willie is much more extensive which is why I have no problem rating this album 5 stars. Whether the songs are more country-infused reggae or reggae-infused country, I don't care. It just works. My favorite tracks are Sitting In Limbo and The Harder They Come, but really there isn't a weak track on the album, and I know a thing or two about weak Willie tracks (see anything on Live and Kickin').

Amazon should run a "Better Together" with the excellent Throw Down Your Arms by Sinead O'Connor. That one is brilliant too.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Steven J. Hoffman on May 28, 2009
Format: Audio CD
For some reason that I cannot understand, this album was severely criticized by music reviewers. Perhaps they just thought "Oh, this is goofy. Who needs a reggae album from Willie Nelson?" Perhaps they figured it didn't make any sense musically. Perhaps they thought it was nothing more than a reflection of Willie's fondness for the little green-leafed plant pictured on the cover of the album.

But if you love Willie Nelson, IGNORE those critics. Here's what you get on this album:

(1) You get nine of Willie Nelson's finest compositions, many of them rarities that he originally recorded back in the 60s before he was well-known. And these reggae-tinged versions are SUPERIOR to Nelson's own original recordings of the same songs. Trust me, I've listened to the originals! If you love those really sad, sad, sad Willie Nelson songs that he wrote back in the days when he was a truly sad guy (before all the fame, before the whole hippie thing), you will LOVE these songs. They are not really reggae versions. They are classic Willie Nelson country songs with a reggae TINGE to them. It's Willie with a very subtle, low-key reggae rhythm section -- and that riddim DOES fit with Willie's slightly off-the-beat trademark vocal style.

(2) You get a great Johnny Cash song ("Worried Man") with Willie Nelson dueting with Toots Hibbert.

(3) Finally, you get two cuts that, in my view, were unnecessary: Willie's cover versions of two reggae standards "The Harder They Come" and "Sitting in Limbo." Frankly, I these are the weakest cuts. And I think some critics, hearing those cuts, got turned off to the whole project, thinking "oh this is just some cheesy reggae retreads."

Not that there's anything wrong with those two reggae covers per se.
Read more ›
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. Miller on July 13, 2005
Format: Audio CD
When I mentioned to old time Willie Nelson fans that he was coming out with a reggae album many were clearly not interested. Apparently branching out to reggae was not a good thought, in their mind, for Willie. However, after they and others get a listen to this I think they will change their minds.

Part of that is because Willie always has been able to make everything he sings his own, and the traditional reggae beats and harmonies are no different. In fact, this could be just a traditional Willie album with seemingly slight changes, because you just cannot take the voice out of Willie. That is why the album ends up sounding more Jimmy Buffett-ish then anything, and also why it still should be able to find a mainstream audience, not that it has too.

I actually was worried on the opposite end, because after hearing the first two songs, both light on reggae and heavy on Willie, I thought most of the others would sound almost exactly the same. However, with the third track "Worried Man," featuring Toots Hibbert, I was relaxed to hear something fresh that combined reggae and Willie in a much nicer fashion. Thankfully, that continues more or less for the rest of the album.

By no means am I saying this was the best Willie's accomplished (thus the 4 stars), but one should be pleasantly surprised when they hear Willie do reggae.
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