Today for the Song of the Week, we have a (kind of) new one from the great Willie Nelsonfrom his new Bluegrass album, a reimagined version of his classic “On the Road Again.”
It was featured on his aforementioned 99th career studio album (his 74th solo studio album to go along with his 26 collaborative studio albums) this past Friday, September 15th, and I absolutely love the new production.
The project was actually Willie’s first time officially dabbling in the bluegrass genre with a real deal record, in a salute to the Appalachian old-time string band music and Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys, which greatly inspired Willie’s legendary songwriting style.
It was produced by his longtime collaborator and friend Buddy Cannon, and includes new versions of 12 of his self-written favorites with a bluegrass ensemble on the production, including classic hits like “On the Road Again,” “Yesterday’s Wine,” “Still is Still Moving to Me,” and more.
And of course, the original version of “On the Road Again” was released in 1980 as a part of the Honeysuckle Rose soundtrack, ultimately becoming his ninth #1 single when it peaked at the top spot of the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs later that year.
While we all obviously love that version, which is a country standard and all-time classic, there’s something really fun about hearing it as a bluegrass song, too.
Honestly, the whole record is incredibly well-done (not that I ever expected anything less) and Willie sounds great, and I will never get over how this man continues to operate at the level he does even at the age of 90.
A national treasure, indeed…
Turn it up:
“On the Road Again”
“On the Road Again” was also featured on the Whiskey Riff New Music Friday Playlist, along with tons of other great new releases from this past week in country music.
Turn it up, tell your friends, and as always, make sure to subscribe to the official Whiskey Riff Channel for more great country music playlists.