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To Willie

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To Willie
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Audio CD, February 3, 2009
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Amazon's Phosphorescent Store


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Matthew Houck, an Alabama native, now Brooklyn resident, has delivered five albums as Phosphorescent since his 2003 debut. Houck has a highly distinctive artistic voice, but also a refreshing, rolled-sleeves approach to his expression. It was 2007's Pride – a delicate and spare, haunted and haunting work of ragged country, bittersweet southern gospel and forlorn folk-ish drone ... Read more in Amazon's Phosphorescent Store

Visit Amazon's Phosphorescent Store
for 8 albums, 6 photos, and 6 full streaming songs.

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To Willie + Pride + Here's to Taking It Easy
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 3, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: DEAD OCEANS
  • ASIN: B001NG3PZW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,176 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Reasons To Quit
2. Too Sick To Pray
3. Walkin'
4. It's Not Supposed To Be That Way
5. Pick Up The Tempo
6. I Gotta Get Drunk
7. Can i Sleep In Your Arms
8. Heartaches Of A Fool
9. Permanently Lonely
10. The Last Thing I Needed (First Thing This Morning)
11. The Party's Over

Editorial Reviews

In 1975, Willie Nelson recorded "To Lefty From Willie", ten songs in which Nelson paid homage to Lefty Frizell, reinterpreting his favorites from the Frizzell catalog and stamping them with his unique voice. Now Phosphorescent has done the same for Willie Nelson on this recording of eleven hidden Nelson gems and lost classics. An unabashed musical love letter.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Tulaa on June 29, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most magnificent albums to behold. A true gift for Willie done by some of the most talented musicians around.....They have not only captured the essence of Nelson's music but have done so by adding the flavor of their own genius sound............Phosphorescent...I commend you....."To Willie" is a true mark of your unfounded talent.....congtats!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 3, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Like Mark Kozelek from Sun Kil Moon, Matthew Houck the guiding light of the alt country wonders Phosphorescent can write a mean tune or two (see the review of their latest "Here's to taking it easy") but he also happens to be one of the great cover artists and interpreters of modern times. This album which is both a tribute and reinterpretation of the songs of the veteran outlaw Willie Nelson confirms that Houck doesn't just understand the basic tenets of country music he could write the book. The fact in addition that he digs deeper into the repertoire of Nelson and resists the obvious covers (no "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain", On the road again or Always on my mind) and instead stresses the "outlaw" themes of drink, drunkenness, despair, downtime and dread make "To Willie" all the more special, and both a fantastic homage and a original contribution to the great canon of alt country.

The highlights arrive faster that Usain Bolt in the Olympic stadium. Starting with "Reasons to Quit" a sad paean to the hopelessness of the demon drink but also the perils of life without it does set the tone. Thus we have those tender lost hope ballads that Nelson's fragile voice seem made for and which Houck doesn't just make his own, in some cases he betters them. Listen to the lovely and sad lament "Permanently Lonely" and try not to be moved, equally the heartache of the break up Tex Mex ballad "It's Not Supposed to Be That Way".
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Krista Welch on April 19, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Though I wasn't entirely sure of what to expect from a tribute album from Phosphorescent, whose original songs I can't get enough of, I would say that "To Willie" definitely doesn't disappoint. Matthew Houck's sleepy voice lends itself nicely to Willie's often melancholy lyrics, and the arrangements are textural and interesting in an almost effortless, breezy way. On this album, the songs stay true to their original, honest nature, while scintillating with the spaciousness and depth that I love so much about Phosphorescent's style. All in all, a really great listen!
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