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Shotgun Willie

37 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 29, 2008
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Audio, Cassette, July 7, 1987
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$13.44 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 8 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Shotgun Willie + Phases & Stages + Red Headed Stranger
Price for all three: $29.99

Buy the selected items together


1. Shotgun Willie
2. Whiskey River
3. Sad Songs And Waltzes
4. Local Memory
5. Slow Down Old World
6. Stay All Night (Stay A Little Longer)
7. Devil In A Sleepin' Bag
8. She's Not For You
9. Bubblees In My Beer
10. You Look Like The Devil
11. So Much To Do
12. A Song For You

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 29, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino Flashback
  • ASIN: B001690X1A
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,046 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lucas W. Reynolds on March 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD
There have been better voices in country music, but never a better vocalist than Willie Nelson. I consider him on par with Frank Sinatra or Sam Cooke in terms of singing skill. He knows exactly what he wants out of each line to maximize the effect of the lyric, and his phrasing is inventive and unique. Although he is widely lauded for his song-writing ability, it is his delivery that makes the songs stand out. Shotgun Willie is no exception.

Unlike Red-Headed Stranger or Phases and Stages, there is no unifying concept to hold the album together. This is just Willie being Willie. He's so relaxed and comfortable with the material that the tempo never really makes it above a laid back toe-tapper. And who cares? I could sit back and tap my toe to music of this caliber much longer than the 40 minute running time. Another difference from his string of concept albums is the variety of songs here. Tougher than Leather, for instance, seems to run together a little bit, and even his finest conceptual efforts repeat musical themes throughout, making them more of an overall experience. On Shotgun Willie, every track can stand alone. There is no filler. The title track is wry and amusing with an accompanying horn section that sounds just at home as the strings backing Willie on "Slow Down Old World", or the honky-tonk piano and fiddle on "Bubbles in My Beer". "Whiskey River" is worlds apart from his raucous live version, but none-the-less effective. By the time he chuckles on the second verse of the track, you are so engrossed that you chuckle along with him, even though you're not sure what's so funny.

That's not to say that the songs aren't cohesive, because they are. The arrangements are lovely and uncluttered regardless of what instruments are utilized.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on August 4, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Having broken free of RCA Nashville, Nelson spent a two album stint on Atlantic. This 1973 debut for the label covers a lot of ground, blending Nelson originals with covers (including a pair of Bob Wills titles and a pair from Leon Russell, including "A Song For You") across country, jazz and Texas storytelling tradition. As fruitfully as Nelson has conquered the charts over the years, album-styled music such as this is clearly his first love.
Highlights include the (then) newly-penned autobiographical title track, a soulful version of "Whiskey River" that greatly changes mood from the live hit single, the tearful (and perhaps ironically self-fulfilling) original "Sad Songs and Waltzes," and a family take of Bob Wills' "Say All Night (Stay a Little Longer)."
This is complex, thoughtful music with the sophistication of its country musical roots and its New York City recording location. Those familiar only with the more readily digestible hits will find a fuller philosophical and musical meal here.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Courtois on February 18, 2001
Format: Audio CD
The album is worth $12 for the first line alone--"Shotgun Willie sits around in his underwear." Hard to believe, but the album only gets better after that--the next two songs are country classics: "Whiskey River" and "Sad Songs and Waltzes." And it keeps getting better still--with covers of two Bob Wills songs and guest appearances by Waylon Jennings and the legendary Doug Sahm. Definitely an essential album if you're at all interested in country music.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Lamm on January 18, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Cake is one of my favorite bands, and on Cake's "Fashion Nugget" album, there's a fine song called "Sad Songs and Waltzes". I did a search on the internet and found that the Cake song I love was written by Willie Nelson. Needless to say, I bought Shotgun Willie the same day, and I'm so glad I did! When I was a kid, my parents were huge Willie Nelson fans, but I never game him much thought. I really wish I had now that I understand what he's saying and how great his songs are. This album is fantastic. If you're like me, and you dislike all the current country music (Shania, Randy Travis, Tim McGraw, etc..) because it's nothing but pop music, and no different than anything Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand are doing, then you'll definitely love Shotgun Willie. Buy it!, you won't be sorry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Daum on July 11, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I remember the first time I listened to this album and heard Willie sing Leon Russell's "A Song For You". I cried. I still do. Every time. Willie's performance is genuinely sublime. He elevates the lyric and turns it into a devastating moment of human vulnerability. Every phrase is perfectly delivered; every nuanced idiosyncracy of Willie's voice is absolutely right on. Even his deceptively simple guitar accompaniment contributes essentially to the song's emotional impact. Nothing is forced, nothing is contrived, and nothing rings false. The album as a whole floats along effortlessly and is a lot of fun - a true classic - but "A Song For You" ends the experience on such an unexpectedly intense note that you can't help but be moved deeply by it all.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Perlowski on September 3, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I grew up on this album as a kid. It's got the most beautiful rendition of Whiskey River on it ever made. I was born and raised in Texas and have seen Willie, Waylon, and Jerry Jeff
live. Anybody that is a fan of Willie's will love this album.
I rate this as his second all-time greatest album; second only to the Redheaded Stranger. Enough said. God Bless Texas! Mike
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