Who: Willie Nelson
What: Singing “My Favorite Picture of You” this week on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Why It’s So Great: It’s not often that you see one Texas legend singing a song written by another (Guy Clark) about a third (Susanna Clark, Guy’s wife). Nelson has said that “My Favorite Picture of You,” the title track of Guy Clark’s final album, might be his favorite tune on Ride Me Back Home, the 86-year-old Red Headed Stranger’s new release.
It’s one of two Clark originals Nelson selected for this album consisting mostly of covers. While “Immigrant Eyes,” the other Clark song, is set long ago on faraway Ellis Island, with a verse like “They were standing in lines just like cattle / poked and prodded and shoved / Some were one desk away from sweet freedom / Some were torn from someone they love…” it’s clear that Nelson has something other than Victorian Era immigration on his mind. (And it’s not hard to guess who might be on Nelson’s mind when he sings the facetious old Mac Davis hit “It’s Hard to be Humble.”)
Once hitched up to Fallon’s couch, Willie spoke of all the broke-down horses he’s known (and saved from the slaughterhouse), how marijuana saved his life (he’s the cover boy of Rolling Stone’s new weed issue), and about another of the covers on the new record: Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are.”
Ride Me Back Home was released today and concludes a trilogy of albums with mortality as a theme, beginning with 2017’s God’s Problem Child and through last year’s Last Man Standing.