Our friend and neighbor and national treasure Willie Nelson releases Band of Brothers today on Sony Legacy. It's Willie's first album of predominately new original material since Spirit in 1996. "I kind of got on a writing kick," Willie said recently, "it's good to be writing again." Willie co-wrote nine of the album's 14 songs with producer Buddy Cannon, who has produced all four Legacy Recordings since Willie's return to the Sony camp in 2012. The album also contains two songs from Billy Joe Shaver, a Vince Gill ballad, and a great song about the fraternity of tunesmiths, "The Songwriters," from Gordie Sampson and Bill Anderson.
Willie has been active in promoting the new album, with visits to Howard Stern and David Lettermen. The never-ending tour continues this week in New England with Alison Krauss and Kasey Musgraves in support, and the 41-year tradition that is Willie Nelson's 4th of July Picnic returns to the historic Ft. Worth Stockyards. While home in late April to celebrate his 81st birthday, Willie achieved a 5th degree black belt in the Korean martial art of GongKwon Yusul, and was inducted into yet another hall of fame, this time as part of the inaugural inductees in to the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame. The iconic television program is now filmed at ACL Live at the Moody Theater, where Willie is one of the venue owners. It's also where he performed this year during SXSW 2014 as part of the iTunes Music Festival.
You can hear songs from Band of Brothers on this week's edition of Americana World Headquarters, available anytime on our SoundCloud page. And we'll be playing more tracks throughout the day - New Music Tuesday - here on SXSWfm.
Band of Brothers album cover courtesy of Sony Legacy