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Published On: Mon, Jul 6th, 2015

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard: Django and Jimmie

willie and merleWillie Nelson and Merle Haggard
Django and Jimmie
(Legacy Recordings)

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At 82 and 78, respectively, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard team up for the third time on their new album, Django and Jimmie. The plinky, doubled guitar and gristled vocals of the duo opens on the swinging title track on which Nelson and Haggard declare their appreciation of Django Reinhardt and Jimmie Rodgers. The gorgeous and plodding “Unfair Weather Friend” sees Haggard sounding especially great across this ballad with sad pedal steel, perfectly placed piano and harmonica. “Missing Ol’ Johnny Cash,” with some help from country legend Bobby Bare, sees the men more talking than singing over a flangy beat and funky piano. “Live This Long” truly relates where these men are presently with gem lyrics like, “We’d have taken much better care of ourselves if we’d have known we were going to live this long.” “Alice in Hulaland” is a rather light Hawaiian-strummed ditty about a girl who loves the boys in the band, “It’s Only Money” is a rollicking, wry ditty, and “Where Dreams Come To Die” is a slow swing led, once again, by the distinctive duo of vocals (though Willie’s voice and acoustic stand out). Haggard’s “The Only Man Wilder Than Me” is a wonderful, soft, upbeat ender – just another song here with great lyrics and that oh-so-pretty blending of these legends’ voices and some simple, clean, electric leading. I don’t think there are any truly classic moments here of songwriting, but God knows it is great hearing Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard get together anytime.

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Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard: Django and Jimmie