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Milk Cow Blues

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Audio CD, September 19, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ask a country legend like George Jones or Chet Atkins, and they will tell you they learned to play and sing from the neighboring bluesman/sharecropper. Likewise B.B. King is apt to mention that he tuned in the Grand Ole Opry growing up. Thus it feels natural for country's grand old hippie Willie Nelson to record a CD of blues standards--especially since he wrote some of them (see: "Night Life"). Producer and featured guitarist Derek O'Brien lays down a funky but relaxed bed for the King of Laid-Back and some serious musical synergy with veteran guests like Dr. John and the aforementioned King. Kenny Wayne Shepherd's incendiary guitar on "Texas Flood" notwithstanding, the contributions of the younger contingent (Susan Tedeschi, Jonny Lang, Keb' Mo'), while heartfelt, seem more like perfunctory marketing ploys. Those who buy Milk Cow Blues for those names will be disappointed. Those who buy it for Willie will be delighted as he proceeds to show the youngsters (and all of us) what soul, and phrasing, and the blues are all about. --Michael Ross

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Milk Cow Blues (Album Version) [feat. Francine Reed]Willie Nelson 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Outskirts Of Town (Album Version) [feat. Keb' Mo']Willie Nelson 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Black Night (Album Version) [feat. Dr. John]Willie Nelson 5:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Funny (How Time Slips Away) (Album Version) [feat. Francine Reed]Willie Nelson 4:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Rainy Day Blues (Album Version) [feat. Jonny Lang]Willie Nelson 5:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Crazy (Album Version) [feat. Susan Tedeschi]Willie Nelson 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. The Thrill Is Gone (Album Version)B.B. King and Willie Nelson 4:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Wake Me When It's Over (Album Version)Willie Nelson 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Kansas City (Album Version) [feat. Susan Tedeschi]Willie Nelson 2:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Fool's Paradise (Album Version) [feat. Dr. John]Willie Nelson 4:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Ain't Nobody's Business (Album Version) [feat. Jonny Lang]Willie Nelson 5:08$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Night Life (2000 Album Version) [feat. B.B. King]Willie Nelson 4:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
13. Sittin' On Top Of The World (Album Version)Willie Nelson 4:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
14. Lonely Street (Album Version)Willie Nelson 4:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
15. Texas Flood (Album Version) [feat. Kenny Wayne Shepherd]Willie Nelson 8:48$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 19, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: September 19, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B00004XT11
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,984 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Paul D. Green on September 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Today saw the new release of Willie Nelson's new CD... "Milk Cow Blues".
I think it Willie's first blues CD, and, like always, it's "Willie" but this time with Keb Mo', Dr. John, Johnny Lang, Susan Tedeschi, Kenny Wayne Shepard and BB King.
Interesting part is that Keb, Johnny, and Susan are singing vocals only on this album, no guitar playing. BB Kine and Kenny Wayne Shepard do play on their songs. And, as an added benefit, Jimmy Vaughn plays guitar on one of the two Susan Tedeschi tunes.
But it sounds great and I've always loved Willie, always will I suppose. The main blues guitarist on this album is Derek O'brian. Also you'll hear a couple of songs with Willie singing with Francine Reed, who I know only from Lyle Lovett's Big Band.
Have you ever heard Willie standards like "Funny How Time Slips Away" and "Crazy" as full bore BLUES songs? You will on this album.
If you like Willie in general and you like the Blues you'll like this Album. If you like easy laid back -- mostly slow -- blues of any kind you'll probably like this album. Perfect dinner, or date, or relaxing music.
Willie shows us one more time, that he can sound at home with just about any genre of music -- what's next... Wille does a Hip Hop CD?
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
To anyone who's followed Willie Nelson for more than a few years, the idea of his cutting a blues album isn't so far-fetched. In Texas, music is a big ole bowl of gumbo with ingredients from just about everywhere. So not surprisingly, Willie's ridden through this territory before and after all, he DID write "Night Life," "Crazy" and "Funny How Time Slips Away."
That said, "Milk Cow Blues" is a worthy addition to the resume of Willie Nelson. The voice and phrasing is in excellent shape (for the blues, anyway) and the band (not his touring country unit) is excellent. "Black Night" simmers with the keyboards and low growl of Dr. John, and Derek O'Brien's electric guitar solo fits in the context of the song, something you don't usually see on these all star affairs. The sultry voice of Francine Reed decorates "Funny How Time Slips Away" and the title track. Another highlight is "Crazy" -- you really can't do more with this song than Willie does here, unless your name is Patsy Cline. Susan Tedeschi, his duet partner on "Crazy," gives it her all but she seems a bit out of her element here. She's better on "Kansas City."
I don't know, but on most of these songs I just wish Willie would have done them all by himself. Maybe that's why "Wake Me When It's Over" and "Lonely Street," while nothing really out of the ordinary, sound pretty good to my ears. And the CD's docked one half star each for yet another version of "The Thrill Is Gone" with B. B. King and for Jonny Lang (he can't sing!).
Country, blues, Tin Pan Alley, even rock and roll -- Willie does them all with the best. "Milk Cow Blues" is a great CD for a barbecue, a fall drive in the country or a late-night reverie in front of the fireplace. Willie Nelson is a national treasure; man, am I gonna miss this guy when he's gone!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan B. Spear on July 8, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
On this album Willie Nelson performs a number of different blues numbers, some of which he wrote (such as Rainy Day Blues) and some of which are great blues standards written by others (such as The Thrill is Gone, which was actually BB King's only top 40 hit). This album has renditions of several Willie Nelson classics such as Crazy and Night Life, and also includes guest appearances by such blues greats as BB King, Keb Mo, Johnny Lang, Dr. John, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and others. With that kind of talent, this CD should be better than it is. Unfortunately, I have the feeling that Nelson was never in the studio at the same time as the other performers. Instead, this CD sounds like one of those deals where the studio musicians laid down their tracks, Nelson showed up on a different day to lay down his tracks, and then the guest performers showed up on yet another day to lay down their tracks -- all separately done with very little musical interaction -- and the engineers did the rest.
The really great thing about albums which mix and match players in a REAL studio environment is that you can hear different musicians react to each other and almost provide a "jam" kind of feeling that occurs when performers with different musical styles collide and interact. On this album, however, all the performances seem to be siloed and sanitized, with very little dynamic interaction or even harmonies between Nelson's vocals and those of the other players. The vocals on Night Life, in particular, sound almost awkward in the way that King and Nelson fail to connect or interact. With this much talent represented on this CD, there are of course some high points but there are some low points as well, including a couple of painful flat notes from Susan Tedeschi on "Crazy." Overall, it's not a bad album, but it could have been much better.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Al the Pal on October 2, 2000
Format: Audio CD
These are not the first Blues tracks that Willie has laid down. (Remember "Georgia?") He does an outstanding job on this album, with a little help from his friends. Most of the tunes are laid back, "sittin' and sippin'" tunes. His friends include Blues Legends like B.B. King, Francine Reed, Keb' Mo' and Dr. John. The fresh, young Jonny Lang is also outstanding. (Keep an eye on him, he's going to be around a while.) The album showcases Willie at his soulful best and some of the best Blues talent still recording today.
If you love the Blues, you'll love this album. Forget "Aromatherapy;" grab your favorite jug and a tumbler and settle into a comfy chair. You will have over an hour of musical therapy that will leave you relaxed and refreshed.
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