I know what you’re thinking. You need a new WILLIE NELSON CD like Mack Brown needs a $400,000 raise. Well …… maybe. Don’t imagine another Red Headed Stranger, but YOU DON’T KNOW ME: THE SONGS OF CINDY WALKER (Lost Highway) does have a sound concept in mind. Though it seems a no-brainer, Willie has recorded little of Walker’s astonishing catalog over the years. The devastating “You Don’t Know Me” might be her pinnacle, but it’s Nelson’s take on “Not That I Care” (“Does she still close her eyes when she dances? / I just wonder, not that I care”) that finds a perfect note of sadness. Two-steps like “Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Age” and “It’s All Your Fault” have the timeless feel of Nelson classics. Surprising that he took so long to tackle a writer Bob Wills revered decades ago? Perhaps not. At one time Nelson aspired to be Walker, who was already a Texas star when his career as a songwriter began. He’s given all that up, though, and unless he’s hiding another “Crazy” under his bandanna, Nelson could hardly find better songs to sing.
From the April 2006 Issue Subscribe