WILLIE NELSON — Last Man Standing (review)

WILLIE NELSON — Last Man Standing album cover Album · 2018 · Pop/Art Song/Folk Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
On Willie Nelson’s latest offering once again we have Buddy Cannon doing the Production for the tenth album with the addition of co writing every song with Willie and as with the previous album “God’s Problem Child” the band line up is pretty much the same just with a few less guests in “Last Man Standing” as there is only the one actually being Alison Krauss on fiddle and backing vocals who does not even get a mention as a guest just added to the band's line up in the album’s credits. One of the integral parts to Willie’s band these days is long time collaborator Mickey Raphael on harmonica who has been accompanying Willie for nigh on thirty years and almost nearly as integral to Willie’s sound as Trigger but not quite. Honky Tonk, Western Swing with a couple of ballads thrown in for good measure are the album’s basis making this one a straight up Country album being Willie Nelson’s bread and butter and there really is no greater exponent of this music style living today.

The album kicks off with “Last Man Standing” with a mention concerning Waylon Jennings, Ray Price, Merle Haggard and Norro Wilson and how Willie is lamenting he is the last of them on the title number. Honky Tonk based ‘Don’t Tell Noah” comes next followed by “Bad Breath” concerning his mortality with the line “Bad breath is better than no breath at all” with a great little solo from Mickey Raphael’s harmonica followed by Willie on Trigger. “Me And You” is Honky Tonk which motors along with a great beat behind it with quiet a nice ballad following “Something You Get Through” with the harmonica of Mickey Raphael’s coming to the fore and some great steel guitar added as well. Western swing get’s a shot with the fairly quick time of ‘Ready To Roar” and the next number “Heaven Is Closed” has Willie mentioning that “hell is overcrowded so I think I will stay where I am” . “ I Ain’t Got Nothin” follows with more of that Honky Tonk feel in “She Made my Day” and the other ballad comes next “I’ll Try To Do Better Next Time” with the album closing up with a slight Bluesy influence in “Very Far To Crawl”,

Great album of all original material. I have heard people mentioning it’s brevity as it only runs for thirty four minutes but for me not a factor being brought up in the day of records which is not far of many album times anyway. Still not a lot has changed since his previous “God’s Problem Child” which in my opinion has just a slight edge over this one.
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