Willie Nelson will release A Beautiful Time on Friday, April 29, arriving on the artist’s 89th birthday and will be available in on vinyl (black vinyl as well as an exclusive orange vinyl edition for Barnes & Noble), CD and digital formats (including in spatial hi-res audio in Atmos and 360RA formats).
“I’ll Love You Till the Day I Die,” the first single and video from A Beautiful Time, premieres Thursday, February 10. The track, Willie’s studio performance of a new Rodney Crowell/Chris Stapleton composition, exemplifies the album’s focus on finely-crafted pop-country songwriting.
Among its many musical delights, A Beautiful Time introduces a variety of newly-written future pop-country classics including five new Willie Nelson/Buddy Cannon compositions and contributions from some of Nashville’s finest contemporary songwriters. The collection also premieres Willie’s heartfelt and insightful covers of Leonard Cohen’s “Tower of Song” and The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends.”
Produced by Willie’s longtime musical collaborator Buddy Cannon (who’s cowritten six of the album’s new songs, including five with Willie), A Beautiful Time is a fully-realized new studio album showcasing Willie and Trigger (his signature guitar) playing with musicians including Jim “Moose” Brown (B-3 organ, Wurlitzer), Fred Elringham (drums), Barry Bales (upright bass), Bob Terry (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, steel guitar), James Mitchell (electric guitar) and the patented harmonic stylings of Mickey Raphael. Melonie Cannon sings backup on five of the album’s tracks.
The album’s core musical ensemble drives eight of the essential tracks on A Beautiful Time: “My Heart was a Dancer,” “Energy Follows Thought,” “Dreamin’ Again,” “Dusty Bottles,” “Me and My Partner,””Don’t Touch Me There” and two of the album’s most emotional performances: “I’ll Love You Till the Day I Die” and “I Don’t Go to Funerals.”
The album’s studio performances of two Shawn Camp songs–“A Beautiful Time” and “We’re Not Happy (Till You’re Not Happy)”–and Willie’s interpretation of the Lennon-McCartney classic (“With a Little Help from My Friends) feature Bobby Terry (acoustic guitar, electric guitar), Catherine Marx (Wurlitzer, piano, B-3 organ), Mike Johnson (steel guitar), Chad Cromwell (drums), Lonnie Wilson (drums, percussion) and Kevin “Swine” Grantt (upright bass).
In 2021, Legacy Recordings released two new Willie Nelson albums–That’s Life and The Willie Nelson Family. That’s Life, Willie’s musical homage to the artistry of Frank Sinatra debuted at #1 on both Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart and the Traditional Jazz Albums chart and is currently in the running for the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Grammy.
Willie Nelson is slated to play at Chris Stapleton’s Concert For Kentucky on Saturday, April 23.
Willie Nelson – A Beautiful Time track listing
1. I’ll Love You Till The Day I Die (Rodney Crowell and Chris Stapleton)
2. My Heart Was A Dancer (Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon)
3. Energy Follows Thought (Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon)
4. Dreamin’ Again (Jack Wesley Routh and Douglas Graham)
5. I Don’t Go To Funerals (Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon)
6. A Beautiful Time (Shawn Camp)
7. We’re Not Happy (Till You’re Not Happy (Shawn Camp and Charles R. Humphrey III)
8. Dusty Bottles (Jim “Moose” Brown, Scotty Emerick and Don Sampson)
9. Me And My Partner (Ken Lambert)
10. Tower Of Song (Leonard Cohen)
11. Live Every Day (Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon)
12. Don’t Touch Me There (Willie Nelson and Buddy Cannon)
13. With A Little Help From My Friends (John Lennon and Paul McCartney)
14. Leave You With A Smile (Buddy Cannon, Bobby Terry and Matt Rossi)